Economy

Auto sales crash in March as lockdown takes a toll

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on April 13, 2020

Industry losing ₹2,300 crore in production turnover for every day of closure, says SIAM

The automobile industry witnessed one of the sharpest declines in domestic sales in March, reporting reported a massive fall on a year-on-year (YoY) basis in each category, said the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“The month of March 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. As the revenues took a severe hit, the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) struggled to meet fixed cost and working capital requirements,” said SIAM President Rajan Wadhera.

The industry was already reeling under a severe de-growth and disrupted supply chains because of the pandemic, he said. This was followed by the majority of the auto companies announcing a shutdown of their manufacturing units due to concerns over ensuring the health of their employees, he added. From March 25, India has also been under a nationwide lockdown.

In talks for policy measures

“As per our estimates at SIAM, the auto industry is losing ₹2,300 crore in production turnover for every day of closure,” Wadhera said, adding that the industry is in talks with the government for policy measures which could minimise the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, especially the auto industry.

Per data released on Monday, passenger car sales declined 52 per cent YoY in March to 85,229 units (1,78,019 units in March 2019).

Utility vehicle sales declined, for the time in many months, by 45 per cent to 51,569 units (93,206 units).

The decline in the two segments led to a steep 51 per cent fall in the passenger vehicles category to 1,43,014 units (2,91,861 units).

In the two-wheeler segment, scooter and motorcycle sales declined 32 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, YoY.

Commercial vehicles sales were hit the most, plunging 88 per cent YoY to just 13,027 units (1,09,022 units).

 

Published on April 13, 2020

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