The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on India’s automobile industry will be clear once the ongoing lockdown is lifted and there is clarity on the time taken by supply chain to resume optimal production, according to a top Nissan Motor India official.
Before the outbreak, the Indian auto sector was already suffering from a prolonged slump. During the April-February 2019-20 period, passenger vehicle sales had declined by 14.68 per cent to 26,32,665 units as against 30,85,528 in 2018-19.
Total vehicle sales across categories had also declined by 15.85 per cent at 2,04,98,128 units April-February of 2019-20 as compared to 2,43,58,082 units in the comparable period previous fiscal, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
With the novel coronavirus outbreak, the industry was given a further blow with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Rajan Wadhera stating that as per quick estimates by the auto industry body, the plant closures of auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and components makers would lead to loss of more than Rs 2,300 crore in turnover for each day of closure.
"The industry is closely monitoring the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation in India and its impact on the sector will only get clear once the lockdown is lifted and the time taken by the supply chain to resume optimal production," Nissan Motor India Managing Director Rakesh Srivastava told PTI.
He further said, "Auto demand has a direct correlation with the GDP growth of the country and the industry is hopeful that government will take measures to revive demand and restore normalcy in the marketplace." The pandemic had initially disrupted supply chain, specially for components imported from China. With India also going for a 21-day lockdown from March 25, manufacturing in the auto sector has come to a standstill.
Last month, the auto industry had also sought from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman measures to support the sector after the government announced financial action plan of Rs 1.7 lakh crore to support medical warriors, daily wage earners, farmers, construction workers, self-help groups and women, among others.