Covid lockdowns slammed the brakes on vehicle sales: SIAM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 12, 2021

Sales of passenger vehicles, 2-wheelers decline in April on sequential basis

As expected, the second wave of Covid-19 that hit India early last month adversely impacted vehicle sales in April, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on Wednesday, adding that dispatches (to dealers) of passenger vehicles fell by 10 per cent compared to March 2021, due to various restrictions in States.

Dispatches of two-wheelers in the domestic market have also plummeted by 33 per cent, while three-wheelers witnessed a de-growth of 51 per cent from March to April, the industry body said in its monthly sales report.

“Supply chain-related production challenges continue, with the lockdown restrictions in many parts of the country. Demand has been clearly impacted by the second wave of Covid-19, both in terms of low consumer sentiment and closure of dealerships due to lockdown restrictions,” Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM, said.

Passenger car sales (to dealers) declined to 1,41,194 units during the month as compared to 1,56,985 units in March. Sequentially, dispatches of utility vehicles have also declined by 11 per cent month-on-month to 1,08,871 units in April as against 1,22,350 units in the previous month.


Scooter segment

In the scooter segment, sales declined by 34 per cent MoM to 3,00,462 units during the last month as compared with 4,57,677 units in March this year. Similarly, motorcycle sales also declined by 33 per cent MoM to 6,67,841 units as against 9,93,996 units in March.

However, electric two-wheeler sales have grown by 83 per cent to 817 units as compared to 445 units in the previous month. Total two-wheeler sales declined to 9,95,097 units as against 14,96,806 units in March. The grand total of all categories put together reported a sequential de-growth of 30 per cent to 12,70,458 units in April as compared with 18,19,682 units in March.

Manufacturing halted

Vehicle manufacturing has been restricted and manufacturers have come forward to augment oxygen supply for medical use. Industry is putting all efforts to increase the availability of oxygen by providing oxygen generating plants, concentrators, cylinders, mobile oxygen vans and setting up vehicle tracking system in oxygen carrying vehicles to reduce their turnaround-time, Menon said.

“As our country battles the second wave of Covid-19, the Indian automobile industry has been standing shoulder to shoulder with the government and local authorities to provide all essential medical and non-medical support to society, in this difficult time,” he added.

According to Mitul Shah, Head of Research at Reliance Securities, automobile monthly sales volume reported by SIAM for April indicates sharp month-on-month decline across categories, despite year-on-year improvement, and is expected to decline further this month.

“Deeper penetration of Covid into rural India with higher severity this time has more impact on economy, including automobile industry at present. Moreover, supply issues due to lockdown and unavailability of oxygen for industrial usage continue to impact vehicle production. Therefore, sales volume in May will witness more disappointing sales performance,” he said.

Published on May 12, 2021

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