Vehicle sales were hit initially by lockdown measures imposed in Maharashtra to contain the spread of covid-19 and similar measures were implemented in other parts of the country as well in the second half of April, which further impacted sales
NEW DELHI :
Exponential surge in cases of covid-19 across the country, and the consequent lockdown measures halted the recovery in retail sales witnessed by the automobile industry over the last six months as registration of vehicles across categories in April recorded double digit decline, compared with the preceding month.
Showroom sales of passenger vehicles (PVs)decreased by 25.33% on a month-on-month basis to 208,883 units during the month, according to sales data released by Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) on Monday. Vehicle sales were hit initially by lockdown measures imposed in Maharashtra to contain the spread of covid-19 and similar measures were implemented in other parts of the country as well in the second half of April, which further impacted sales.
Vehicle sales are usually compared on a corresponding basis, but in April last year, automakers had to close down their respective factories and showrooms, as the Union government imposed stringent nationwide lockdown from March, 18. Subsequently, operations remained suspended till the first week of May and in some cases early June.
According to Vinkesh Gulati, president, FADA, registration of vehicles for April witnessed double digit fall of 28% on a month-on-month as most Indian states started going under lockdown (partial as well as full) from 5 April. The spread started with Maharashtra, followed by Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and other Indian states following suit.
“FADA humbly requests Auto OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to handhold their dealers the way they did last year during the first phase of pandemic as situation is very grim in most states and dealer principals as well as their teams are fighting for survival from covid. FADA also requests the government to come out with a financial package the way they did last year. We also request RBI to come out with guidelines/notifications for relaxation of loan repayment equivalent to the tune of number of days of lockdown each state has announced," added Gulati.
The sudden surge in cases of covid has also taken a toll on manufacturing and construction activity, which impacted the sale of commercial vehicles, as volumes declined by a whopping 23.65% m-o-m to 51,436 units.
Registration of two-wheelers also fell by 27.6% m-o-m to 865,134 units in April as spread of covid-19 infections in rural areas led to a sharp fall in customer sentiment during the marriage season. Demand for two-wheelers, especially in the entry-level segment has been softening in the past few months due to increase in prices of vehicles and resumption of public transport.
Overall vehicle sales declined by 28.15% to 1,185,374 units in April.
According to FADA, in FY21, registration of passenger vehicles dropped by 13.9% to 2.77 million, while the same for two-wheelers were down by 31.51% to 16.83 million units. Showroom sales of commercial vehicles also declined by 49% to 881,000 units.
“The first nine days of May has seen extremely lean sales due to lockdown announced by the majority of states. Lockdown also means dealership outlets will have to remain closed thus meaning zero sales. Considering the rising number of cases, one can expect the peak in terms of infections for India on a whole could be at least a fortnight away," FADA said in a statement.
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