The Silver Lining in the Dark Clouds: India’s Automobile Industry Revs Up!

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Topgear August Magazine 2020 - Topgear Magaizne India

And it continues, rains and lockdown but the dark clouds seem to be getting its tone down towards the brighter side with the automobile industry’s worst nightmare to be behind them. The numbers always speak for itself, where Maruti Suzuki has actually grown 1.3 percent over July 2019 sales figures and has closed its July 2020 books at 97,768 units, the other big boy – Hyundai just dipped 2 percent to 38,200 units in July 2020 over July last year. Overall 1,97,523 passenger vehicles sold in July 2020, compared to 1,99,534 units in July 2019. Shouldn’t we just pop the champagne in that case? This is a great sign amidst the challenges in the production supply chain and with the COVID sentiments but the great July figures are also pent up demand over previous months when we were strapped and tied under strict lockdown. The next three-month sales figures will be the real report card. Bottlenecks on the supply side remain another pain point.

We Have to keep Riding and Driving Ahead and surely we will glide over the covid speed  breakers

But the general sentiments are how long can you be straddled with the seat belt and parked at home, whoever I speak to is planning road trips with intercity and inter-country trips still far away. Road trips means surge in car sales, eating out and hotel rooms – the three industry verticals hit hardly almost punched a knocker from COVID will show signs of recovery.

That’s why we have picked a story on road-tripping films, the best ones till we are legally allowed to go for road trips freely without the COVID stuck at headrest with the reminder not to let loose and stretch back or else the sword [COVID] strikes. Despite all this, we drove a bunch of cars and rode a few bikes – T-Roc, GLS, Carnival, Hector Plus, Rapid and Superb. So, our stint of short road-tripping continues and given the chance, I along with my whole team can be literally strapped to the driver’s seat for the most part of the day. The coming month looks to be more exciting, with the Sonet, Venue iMT, S-Cross petrol, Tucson facelift, Audi RSQ8 and RS7 Sportback dropping on roads and hopefully we will have all of them for our first drives and hoping the sales figure continue to roar in august.

The automobile industry is the backbone of our country and economy generating huge employment and if one considers the extensive backward and forward linkages that
include among others small financiers, drivers, aftermarkets fitters, fuel pump attendants, the number will easily sit north of 40 million people. That’s colossal, almost like employing the whole of Spain! Yet, we have to keep riding and driving ahead and surely we will glide over the COVID speed breakers.