After a depressing start to this financial year owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian auto industry finally seems to have a reason to rejoice. The festive season has ensured that a majority of automobiles have registered a growth in sales in October both when compared to October 2019 and September 2020. In fact, some two-wheeler and four-wheeler makers have had their best month ever in terms of sales and with Diwali fast approaching, the month of November too looks quite promising. Here’s how some of the biggies fared.
The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, posted total sales of 1,82,448 units in October 2020. This is a growth of 18.9% over the same period of previous year. Total sales included domestic sales of 1,66,825 units and 6,037 units for other manufactures. In addition, the Company exported 9,586 units in October 2020 which is a healthy number. Hyundai, which has occupied the second spot in the country when it comes to sales for a long time, recorded its highest ever domestic sales of 56,605 units and exports of 12,230 units with cumulative sales of 68,835 cars for the month of October 2020. Their previous highest monthly domestic sales number was achieved in the month of October 2018 with 52,001 units.
Hyundai’s rival and cousin, Kia motors, a relatively new entrant to the Indian market too registered its highest-ever domestic sales with 21,021 units sold in October. In the process, the Korean carmaker also crossed the milestone of selling 1.5 lakh in India in just over a year. Its highest selling car was the Sonet, which found 11,721 takers last month. Tata Motors fared a little better than Kia and was third overall when it came to October sales. The Homegrown carmaker was able to sell a total of 52,132 vehicles in domestic & international markets, compared to 41,354 units sold during October 2019. In India the company sold 23,617 cars, up from 21,199 units sold in the same period last year.
Mahindra & Mahindra was able to sell 18,600 cars in the month of October which is 27 % more than 14,663 cars it sold in September and 4 % more than 17,923 cars sold in October last year. Next was Toyota which sold a total of 12,373 units in October, thereby clocking a growth of 52% when compared to September 2020 when the company had sold 8,116 units. In October 2019, the company had sold a total of 11,866 units in the domestic market. Honda registered monthly domestic sales of 10,836 units in October 2020 against 10,010 units in corresponding month last year, registering a growth of 8.3 %. Renault was one of the few carmakers which sold fewer cars than last year. It sold 11,005 cars in October against 11,516 cars sold in October 2019, a fall of 4 %. However when compared to September 2020, it registered a healthy growth of 25% when the company sold 8,805 cars.
MG Motor, on the back of its recent launch Gloster, also had an impressive showing in October. The carmaker recorded overall retail sales of 3,750 units during the month, registering a growth of 48 % versus September this year when it sold 2,537 units. In October 2019, it had retailed 3,536 units, which means a growth of 6 %.
Records were broken in the 2-wheeler space too as people continued to follow social distancing amid the pandemic. Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, sold 8,06,848 units of motorcycles and scooters in October 2020, its highest-ever sales in any single month. This meant a big double-digit growth of 35% over October 2019, when the company had sold 5,99,248 units. Hero’s rival Honda, after breaching the 5 lakh unit sales level in September, recorded sales of 527,180 units in October. This was 2% than over 517,845 the company sold in October 2019.
TVS Motor company reported that its two-wheelers sales grew by 24% recording 3,82,121 units in October 2020 as against 3,08,161 units in October 2019. Domestic two-wheeler sales posted a growth of 19% registering 3,01,380 units in October 2020 as against 252,684 units last year. Finally, a cult bike maker reported a slight slump in sales. Royal Enfield posted a sale of 66,891 motorcycles in the month of October 2020, against the sales of 71,964 motorcycles for the same month last year. Of these 62,858 were sold in the domestic market which was 7% lesser than October 2019.
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ONEPLUS 9 PRO MAY FEATURE HASSELBLAD-BRANDED CAMERAS
Beijing: Leaked images of the unannounced OnePlus 9 Pro suggest the flagship smartphone will include a Hasselblad-branded camera array, The Verge has reported. As per the outlet, the images shared in a recent Dave Lee YouTube video show four cameras on the rear of the phone. These include wide-angle, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses, the latter of which appears to offer up to a 3.3x optical zoom. At this point, it is unclear exactly what this Hasselblad branding could mean for the OnePlus 9 Pro’s cameras. As per The Verge, the Swedish manufacturer, which is majority-owned by Chinese company DJI, is best known for its expensive medium format cameras, and has previously worked with Lenovo on a modular camera accessory for Moto Z devices, as well as Vertu for its Signature Touch smart-phone. The presence of its logo means Hasselblad has provided some real camera expertise to OnePlus beyond just brand cache.
MICROSOFT WORD’S DARK MODE WILL NOW BE DARKER
Washington: American multinational technology company Microsoft has started testing an update to Word that will color entire documents in a dark canvas. Currently, Word has a dark mode that modifies the ribbon and toolbars, but the canvas stays bright white. According to The Verge, a future update to Word will include the ability to switch the canvas into the dark mode, too. A program manager on Microsoft’s Word team Ali Forelli said, “This has been a long-requested feature from many of Office Insiders and we’re excited to make it happen.” He further added, “With Dark mode, you’ll notice that the previously white page colour is now a dark grey/black.” While the canvas will change it will also adjust the colours in a document. Reds, blues, yellows, and other bright colours will be “shifted slightly to mute the overall effect of the colour palette” and match the dark background.
FACEBOOK TO LAUNCH SMARTWATCH WITH MESSAGING, FITNESS FEATURES
California: The American social networking service company Facebook is building an Android-based smartwatch with messaging, health, and fitness features. According to The Verge, it is unclear whether Facebook intends for the smartwatch to run Google’s Wear Os. Apart from the upcoming smartwatch, Facebook is also working on building its own operating system for hardware devices and future iterations of the wearable may run that software instead. The smartwatch would join Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality headsets and Portal video chat devices as part of the social network’s growing hardware ecosystem. The company is also working on branded Ray-Ban smart glasses expected to come out later this year and a separate augmented reality research initiative known as Project Aria, which is part of the company’s broader AR explorations, which it has been working on for some time now.
APPLE HAS PLANS TO LAUNCH A FOLDABLE IPHONE BY 2023
Washington: Rumours about a folding iPhone have been doing the rounds for a while now but there had been no confirmation about a launch date of the product. If you are one of them who has been waiting with bated breath for the foldable smartphone to come out, then we finally have some details surrounding its launch date. Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple has plans to launch a foldable iPhone by 2023, and the phone could feature a screen of around 7.5-inch to 8 inches, as per The Verge. The analyst suggested that the foldable iPhone might resemble that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, though Apple has not officially locked the design. Kuo’s prediction indicated that Apple is not necessarily in a hurry to launch a foldable iPhone as its competitors.
Dust study by Dyson shows how homes can be dirtier than they look
Many of us, including myself, took to cleaning our houses ourselves during the pandemic. Most Indians prefer cleaning their homes in the traditional ways and believe that the best way is to sweep and mop. However, many also don’t realise that dust and small dirt particles which can never be seen with the naked eye cannot be cleaned by basic methods. Vacuuming is a good option for that and Dyson has come out with a study to prove the facts. The study conducted by Dyson was taken by 10,754 respondents from 10 countries around the world.
A similar study was carried out in India and I too participated in it. I was surprised to see how much dust was collected from my house. Dyson’s latest V11 vacuum cleaner was used during the study and picked up dust from tough spots like sofas, mattresses, carpets and cars. The tests showed how all houses had dust and other elements which are very harmful for our health in the long run.
The basic objective of the study was to study dust based on 11 parameters like bacterial count, fungal count, pollen, human hair and others. The data was analysed by the FICCI research and analysis centre and the final result attained was very insightful in showing us what kinds of dust elements we usually have in our homes.
The study also explains how vacuuming can keep our homes cleaner and safer. Dyson has a large number of vacuum cleaners in India, the latest of which is the V11. The brand has been researching the technology around moving dust and its particulate matter from homes for well over 15 years. These years of expertise have revealed that the technologies of UVC light and ionisers are effective for the removal of harmful dust.
The way that the last year has been has made us all realise that our health is of the utmost importance and it would be foolish to not see the obvious. Dyson as a brand is trying to make us aware about the health hazards which are always around us due to the dust in our homes. Although, changing our usual ways of cleaning might not happen overnight, but the study has been a real eye-opener.
A CAR MADE ENTIRELY BY WOMEN: MG MOTOR LEADS THE WAY
A car made entirely by women would be unthinkable a few years ago, but not anymore. The car in question is the 50,000th unit of the Hector with which the British carmaker began its India innings a couple of years ago.
NEW DELHI: If you think that the Indian auto industry is a man’s world, think again. This International Women’s Day on 8 March, here are some stories that will tell you how the times are changing.
In a development that comes as a testament to gender parity across workplaces, MG Motor India has just had a car made by an all-women crew in its facility in Halol, Gujarat. A car made entirely by women would be unthinkable a few years ago, but not anymore. The car in question is the 50,000th unit of the Hector with which the British carmaker began its India innings a couple of years ago.
The initiative has created a new benchmark while celebrating ‘diversity’—one of its core pillars according to Morris Garages. In this first-of-its-kind development where women led the end-to-end production, women-only teams were involved in panel-pressing of sheet metal and welding to painting jobs as well as carrying out post-production test runs. According to the British legacy automaker, it features an industry-leading 33% share of women in its workforce, wherein female professionals work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts across all business functions.
If MG is to be believed, it aims to achieve 50% gender diversity in its organisation in the future and pave the way for a balanced workforce. Since its inception, as its core focus area, the brand has worked closely with the local panchayats near its Halol manufacturing plant in the Panchmahal district. Doing so has encouraged more young women to work in a safe and secure environment at the MG plant.
Speaking on the development, Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India, said, “MG has always been a progressive brand with diversity, community, innovation, and experiences as our cornerstones. We believe that it is something that has broadened our perspective as a brand and unlocked efficiencies in every aspect of our business operations. The rollout of our 50,000th Hector by an all-women crew comes as an honour to their contributions and hard work. It also demonstrates that glass ceilings no longer exist even in an erstwhile male-dominated industry such as automobile manufacturing. We believe that it will inspire more women to join the automotive industry in India and abroad.”
Since 2018, MG has hired many female associates in its manufacturing facility via various initiatives. Today, these women are driving core areas of manufacturing at the facility. MG’s manufacturing facility is equipped with Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for various workshops. RPA is used by the automaker in Body Shop for Robotic Brazing, Paint Shop for Robotic Primer and Top Coating, and GA Shop for Robotic Glass Glazing. According to MG, if trained well, both men and women handle the machinery with equal competency and this approach makes the company more gender-inclusive in an otherwise labour-intensive automotive sector.
CEAT ALL-WOMEN STORE
One of India’s leading tyre manufacturers, CEAT Tyres, has introduced the concept of only women operated stores across India, which are called CEAT Shoppes. According to the company, these all-women Shoppes will be its endeavour to empower women especially in the male-dominated tyre industry. The stores are owned, managed and run by a team of women which will give them equal opportunity to grow and make a mark in the tyre industry. The first of such Shoppes has been opened in Bhatinda, Punjab. This will be followed by the introduction of 10 Shoppes in the next few months across the country.
The all-women CEAT Shoppes include women workforce for all service-related assistance to customers. This also includes manual jobs like wheel changing, balancing and operating various machinery to service a vehicle. CEAT says that it will be investing in providing end to end training to the women running these stores. In all, the company has more than 300 Shoppes in the country.
Amit Tolani, Chief Marketing Officer, CEAT, said: “CEAT recognises the value of gender diversity at the workplace. We have been offering equal and fair opportunity to women in every field including our manufacturing plants. From shop-floor engineers to leadership roles, CEAT has a diversified female workforce taking up challenging roles and growing in their respective fields. The all-women CEAT Shoppe, is an industry first initiative which further reiterates our commitment to allow women to grow and make a mark in the Tyre Industry which is predominantly male-driven business. The initiative will not only provide financial stability to the women but will inspire many others to join this industry as we plan to expand our footprints across India with many more such outlets in the months to come.”
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