Passenger vehicle sales in India declined by 51 per cent in March, hit by 21-day nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. As per the data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), passenger vehicle sales last month dropped to 1,43,014 units as compared with 2,91,861 units in March 2019, a decline of 51 per cent.
Similarly, commercial vehicles sales last month saw a massive dip of 88.95 per cent at 13,027 units as against 1,09,022 units in March 2019. Two-wheeler sales saw a decline of 39.83 per cent at 8,66,849 units in March compared to 14,40,593 units in March 2019. Total sales across categories declined by 44.95 per cent last month to 1,050,367 units as against 19,08,097 units in March 2019.
"The month of March 2020 was one of the most challenging months for the auto sector as the 21-day lockdown resulted in bringing the production and sales of vehicles to a standstill in the last week," SIAM President Rajan Wadhera said. As the revenues took severe hit, the OEMs struggled on meeting fixed cost and working capital requirements, he added.
"As per our estimates at SIAM, the auto industry is losing Rs 2,300 crore in production turnover for every day of closure," Wadhera said. The 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 domestic automobile industry, he added.
"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 noted.
In the last fiscal (April 1, 2019- March 31, 2020), the passenger vehicle sales saw a decline of 17.82 per cent to 27,75,679 units as compared with 33,77,389 units in the previous fiscal. Similarly, commercial vehicles sales declined by 28.75 per cent to 7,17,688 units in April-March 2020 compared to 10,07,311 units in April-March 2019.
Two-wheeler sales also declined by 17.76 per cent to 1,74,17,616 units in last fiscal as against 2,11,79,847 units in 2018-19 fiscal. Total sales across categories last fiscal declined by 17.96 per cent to 2,15,48,494 units as compared with 2,62,66,179 units in 2018-19 financial year.