Honda Cars India Ltd reported monthly sales of 3,697 units in March 2020. Honda’s sales drop drastically low recording a year-on-year decline of 78.5% when compared to its sales performance in March 2019 which stood at 17,202 units. Honda mentioned that its exports in the same period stood at 216 units, compared to only 38 units in March 2019. The drop in sales of this magnitude for Honda is partly down to the nationwide 21-day lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Honda had also announced that it had suspended operations at all manufacturing plants in India due to the lockdown.
Rajesh Goel, Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing, Honda Cars India Ltd, said “As is known, the last financial year was the most challenging for the automotive industry because of economic slowdown, poor consumer sentiment clubbed with transition challenges to BS-6. In order to unburden our dealer network, we had drastically revised our annual volumes in September last year. In spite of the lockdown in March, we were able to almost achieve our annual business plan and also successfully liquidate the BS-4 stocks from the network.”
He further added, “The unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 has hit us all which has impacted businesses across the world. In the current scenario, we are taking multiple measures to support our dealers and customers. We hope we are able to tide through this unprecedented crisis at the earliest.”
During the 2019-2020 financial year, Honda Cars India recorded an annual domestic sales of 1,02016 units. This results in a drop of 44.5% when compared to the previous 2018-19 financial year’s performance, which stood at 183,808 units.
The Indian automotive industry has been undergoing one of the worst crisis since the demand for new cars dropped significantly in the past year. The uncertainty of government policies, tied up with scepticism about emission norms and their enforcement, Indian consumers have been reserved when it comes to their car purchase. With the new Bharat Stage 6 emission norms being enforced from April 1, 2020, all vehicles sold and registered must comply with the norms and manufacturers expect demand to rise by the end of 2020.
Honda Cars is expected to launch the all-new eighth-generation City to replace the older model in April 2020. However, due to the nationwide lockdown, the official date is yet to be confirmed. The City would be equipped with BS6 compliant engines, new styling and a long list of new features to rival the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and the recently introduced new Hyundai Verna.
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