Toyota reports sales of 707 units in May as lockdown, COVID restrictions hit dispatches

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) on Tuesday reported total sales of 707 units in May amidst the prevailing lockdowns and restrictions in several parts of the country due to coronavirus pandemic. The company had reported wholesales of 9,622 units in April and 1,639 units in May last year.

Even before the state-wide lockdown was declared in Karnataka, the company had announced its annual maintenance shutdown at its plant in Bidadi from April 26 until May 14, so as to enhance its operational efficiencies, the automaker said in a statement.

“Last month witnessed no production at our plants in Bidadi as well as minimal sales owing to the much needed restrictions and sporadic lockdowns in different parts of the country. Hence comparing last month’s performance to that of May 2020, would be highly skewed, as May 2020, had witnessed a gradual restart of both operations and sales,” TKM Senior Vice President Naveen Soni said.

More so for TKM, as even before the restrictions were announced in Karnataka, the company was well within its planned annual maintenance shutdown, thereby adding onto the number of non-production days, he added.

“Having said that, the overall market situation as well as consumer sentiments are better than May 2020. In fact, we have even registered a 104 per cent growth in cumulative wholesales clocked from January to May in 2021, when compared to the same period last year,” Soni noted.

The company also anticipates that factors like ‘pent up demand’ and the demand for personal mobility will continue to be quite significant once the markets open as consumers will want to own their vehicles instead of using shared or public mobility options, he added.

“A testimony to this is the fact that we have a very healthy number of pending orders and there has been no significant order cancellation against the orders. However, we will be able to take a better stock of the situation once the restrictions are relaxed,” Soni said.

On the manufacturing side, the automaker is trying to ensure that all possible measures and preparations are made to resume production as soon as the lockdown is withdrawn, so as to be able to cater to the immediate mobility needs of our customers at the earliest, he added.

“Moreover, we are also focusing on vaccinating our employees as well as our dealer staff so as to ensure lower risk and severity of infections, once the markets open.

“More than anything else, we want our workforces to be safe and hence we are channelizing our synergies to drive vaccination camps for our employees at the plant as well as for our dealer staff at various dealership locations across the country,” Soni said.

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