Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director of Sales and Marketing at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India
Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director of Sales and Marketing at Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India

Two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India is confident to overcome the economic turbulence unleashed by Covid's second wave.

Accordingly, the second wave triggered local lockdowns as well as movement restrictions.

In a conversation with IANS, HMSI's Sales and Marketing Director Yadvinder Singh Guleria said: "Not only the company but all the dealers and the entire network was much better prepared to overcome the challenges of the second wave."

"Many lessons that were learned during the first wave were incorporated this time. We were able to re-calibrate our operations for better efficiencies."

Besides, he pointed out that working capital, cash management, inventory norms were managed in a better manner.

Honda had closed May 2021 with 58,168 unit sales which included 38,763 domestic dispatches and 19,405 two-wheeler exports.

In April, Honda's total sales closed at 283,045 units, with 240,100 two-wheeler sales in domestic market.

"Things are much better than what they were in second or third week of May. The retails have been much more and much larger than the wholesales which have been reported in the month of May."

"I think we still need another one or two months where we can work out the trends which are developing as of now, but it is towards the positive for sure."

Regarding June's performance, he said: "We have limited time only (for retail) as during monsoon season the sowing for Kharif crop will happen and farmers will be busy in the fields. Only few days as per the Hindu calendar in terms of the marriages."

"We may expect pent up demand in the next buying cycle as per the rural seasonality, if there is no third wave."

Lately, fears have flared up on the prospects of economic recovery due to the massive resurgence of Covid infections around the country.

Consequently, during April and May many state governments had to re-impose movement restrictions to contain the spread as daily infection count went passed the 400,000-mark.

However, Guleria cited that situation is different this time around as lockdowns were localised, along with the accelerated vaccination drive in the country.

In terms of future sales' trend, he said the forecast of healthy monsoon will reinvigorate rural demand and *the* need for personal mobility will keep urban off-take robust.

Furthermore, he elaborated that despite rural areas taking a massive hit due to Covid, the agrarian fundamentals remain strong in terms of output or future growth on the back of a normal monsoon season in 2021.

In addition, Guleria said the company had been able to correct the inventories at its network.

"There is no intention of increasing them again without having a very clear visibility of the demand trends, which are evolving."

"But we need to ensure that we do not lose out on any opportunities to sell."

Recently, two-wheeler major recommenced production at its plants in a phased manner.

The company has manufacturing plants in Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan), Vithalapur (Gujarat) and Narsapura (Karnataka).

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