“The shutdown will not impact the company’s ability to meet demand, which has been impacted due to localised shutdowns in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter,” the company said. All plants will resume normal operations after the short shutdown period.
After the unlock last May, Hero had witnessed a substantial jump in sales, primarily because of pent-up demand and the festive season.
In January, Pawan Munjal, the company’s promoter and chairman, said he expected the current momentum in demand in the rural market to continue in financial year 2021-22 (FY22), as the Union government is expected to persist with measures to boost rural income.
Sales of Hero’s entry-level motorcycles surged after the nationwide lockdown
was eased on the back of faster recovery in demand in rural areas and increased preference for personal mobility. The company raised production to 800,000 units in October, expecting robust recovery in demand during the festive season.
The Indian auto industry has already aired apprehensions as several states have imposed strict lockdown-like restrictions in light of the second wave of Covid-19. Several carmakers have expressed fears that the horrors of April 2020 may return as business is likely to take a hit due to curfew imposed in many places.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava, warning against a lockdown, said that the pandemic had to be tackled with micro solutions by states and not through a blanket approach like a lockdown.
“We will be able access trends and define numbers only by the end of the month, depending on the severity and extent of the restrictions. As of date, we have had a good number of pending orders. Therefore, we are striving to meet the demand, in spite of local restrictions and lockdowns,” said Naveen Soni, senior vice-president at Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
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