Bajaj Auto, on Monday, reported a 44 percent jump in its total sales at 3,69,116 units in July 2021. The company had sold 2,55,832 units in the same month of the previous fiscal. Domestic sales in July this year were at 1,67,273 units as against 1,58,976 units of the same month last year. Total motorcycle sales stood at 3,30,569 units, up 39 percent, as compared to 2,38,556 units sold in the year-ago period. The company also stated that its total commercial vehicle sales more than doubled to 38,547 units as against 17,276 units in the same month last year. Exports in July also more than doubled to 201,843 units as against 96,856 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
Throwing light on the performance and the business outlook, Rakesh Sharma, ED of the company, spoke with CNBC-TV18, mentioning that he expects these trends to hold up.
“It is a more step by step staged recovery that we are seeing and the great thing is that it is evenly spread out. The southern part of the country is yet to catch up on the recovery and that should start in August,” he said, adding that the three-wheeler business for the company stepped up in July. The retail numbers, which were around 7000 in June went up to 12000 in July, he mentioned further, adding that although it is not as widespread as motorcycles, it does give a good view of what is happening on the ground. So, things are improving month on month.
On the domestic front, the company did around 1.67 lakh units in July. Sharma said with the caveat of a likely Covid third wave and taking things at face value as they currently are, one cannot predict the sales numbers but August should be better than July. “The other thing about July is that it is traditionally a slow month, June still was a marriage season in North, and we did catch the second half of that in North. So, July has held very well compared to June; August is where retail starts moving up further because mini-festive occasions start to build up in Maharashtra, southern parts etc. So, I think August will be better but I would not place my bets on sales numbers,” stated Sharma.
On price hikes, he said, “The industry took a price increase, we also took a price increase in early July. It has not fully got us the cost increase back but we at Bajaj Auto are watching, we will see how demand reacts, how competition is doing and then think about further price increase.”
“At least in July, retails are telling us that two price increases in April, May and then July have been digested by the market to some extent and this outcome is after the price increases at the retail level,” he added.
On exports, he said, “Most countries are striking a better balance between livelihood and life. So, apart from Asian region, where Philippines and Cambodia are important to us and also Nepal, these countries are weighing the performance down but other than that, Latin America, Africa and Middle-East have moved on and on the basis of that, we see export outlook maintaining the same tempo.” Over the next few months, if Philippines, Cambodia start to return, it should give a boost in exports but that depends on how Covid progresses over there, he specified.
(With inputs from PTI)
For the entire interview, watch the accompanying video.