Covid-19 effect! Vehicle sales takes a major hit in March 2020

As per our estimates at SIAM, the auto industry is losing `2,300 crore in production turnover for every day of closure.

By:April 14, 2020 10:14 AM


Domestic sales of Indian automobile makers took a hit of nearly 45% on a year-on-year basis, which is one of the sharpest monthly declines seen by the industry, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on Monday. Vehicle sales across categories stood at 10,50,367 units last month against 19,08,097 units a year ago, according to the data released by SIAM. For the full year of April 2019-March 2020, the total sales across categories stood at 2,15,48,494 versus 2,62,66,179 units in FY19. In what has been one of the most challenging years for the Indian automobile industry, the domestic sales for the full year of April 2019-March 2020 declined almost 18%.

The industry, which was battling the impact of economic slowdown on falling demand, along with lower production with the transition to BS-VI emission norms affecting wholesale dispatches, witnessed further pressure by the Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Rajan Wadhera, president, SIAM, said, “March 2020 was one of the most challenging months for the auto sector. The industry was already reeling under severe de-growth and the pressure of disrupted supply chain, was followed by a majority of the auto companies announcing a shutdown of their manufacturing units in the last week of March 2020. As per our estimates at SIAM, the auto industry is losing Rs 2,300 crore in production turnover for every day of closure”.

“The auto industry is engaged in a dialogue with the government of India on policy measures, which could minimise the impact of Covid-19 on the Indian economy and especially the Indian automobile industry. There would be challenges on the supply side; demand side and also on the issue of availability of finance which would all need to be addressed to bring back growth in the sector,” Wadhera said. According to SIAM, domestic passenger vehicle sales declined 51% to 1,43,014 units in March from 2,91,861 units a year ago. Passenger car sales were also down 52.12% at 85,229 units against 1,78,019 units in March last year.

Maruti Suzuki India, which is the market leader in India’s passenger vehicle market, registered sales decline of nearly 46% last month to 78,344 units. Hyundai Motor India registered a decline of almost 41% with 26,300 units, while new entrant Kia Motors took the third position in a row during the month selling a total of 8,583 units.
Total commercial vehicle sales were almost a washout with 88.05% decline to 13,027 units versus 1,09,022 units in March 2019. Total medium & heavy commercial vehicles registered a decline of 87.07% y-o-y for the month of March, while total light commercial vehicles suffered a fall of 88.71% y-o-y for the same period.

Tata Motors, market leader in commercial vehicles, recorded a sales decline of 89.05% to 5,298 units in March, while Mahindra and Mahindra on the second spot saw its sales decline by nearly 91% to 2,321 units. Ashok Leyland registered sales of 1,773 units, a fall of 91.36%. Total two-wheeler sales in March fell 39.83% to 8,66,849 units compared to 14,40,593 units a year ago, SIAM said. Overall motorcycle sales declined by near 42% to 5,70,860 units compared to 9,82,331 units a year ago. Scooter sales were down 32.09% to 2,63,181 units in March against 3,87,552 a year ago, SIAM said.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp reported total two-wheeler sales of 3,16,685 units last month, down near 43%. However, in a surprise, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India witnessed a rise of 10.52% to 2,45,716 units last month. Meanwhile, Chennai-based TVS Motor suffered a drop of 62.01% to 94,105 units in March.

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