Menon, Director General, Society of
Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had recently stated that the Indian
automobile industry witnessed one of its sharpest decline in domestic sales in
March 2020 due to subdued demand and consumer sentiments which was further
aggravated by covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Menon would not
have ever fathomed that in the following month of April 2020 the industry would
record zero domestic sales and maybe few exports. In fact, the month of
April 2020 could go down in the history of Indian automobile industry as the
darkest month. For the Indian auto industry, never has a new financial year
started on such a disastrous note and never has it drawn an absolute blank for
an entire month in terms of domestic sales.
If one were to calculate by what SIAM has to
say wherein each day of plant closure will trigger a loss of more than Rs 2300 crore in
turnover for auto OEMS and component manufacturers, then what we are looking at
is a colossal sum of Rs 92000 crore loss in turnover by any conservative
figure. This figure has been arrived at by calculating the losses for the 40
days the industry will be shut from March 25 to May 03, 2020. If the country
does not allow its plants to reopen after that, the losses will simply rise.
the last few years, we have seen zero sales in a month for a few individual
models of vehicles. The Nano small car from the Tata Motors stable recorded
zero sales for the month of December 2019, right up to March 2020. So did UM motorcycle
draw a blank in sales for several months until the company went belly up. Despite
the government trying its best to promote electric vehicles, Mahindra Electric Mobility
scored a duck in domestic sales for the month of March 2020. So did Mahindra’s
Alturas for the same month.
if the entire April 2020 month zero sales were to be made into movie and were
titled Zero Dark April 2020, this movie could join the club with several others
which have zero as part of their title. Remember movies like Zero Dark Thirty,
Zero Days, Zero Effect, Zero Focus, Mission Zero, Population Zero, Absolute
Zero and Zero Days? What will differentiate Zero Dark April 2020 from the
others would be that, unlike the others, this one would be a real life story.
THE MISERY CONTINUES
month of March 2020 was expected to be really bad for the Indian automobile
industry because of several reasons. A
few of the reasons included consumer sentiments and subdued demand because of
the industry moving from BS IV to BS VI which led to its own confusion and
frustration among dealers, manufacturers and consumers alike. The covid-19
outbreak only aggravated the situation to a level never imagined which led to
shutting down of automotive plants and dealerships across the country.
one in the industry ever imagined that April 2020 would draw a complete blank,
both for production and sales. This has never happened before in the Indian
automobile industry’s long history. So how was March 2020? On the domestic
sales front, passenger vehicle sales were 143014 units in March 2020, compared
to 291861 units in March 2019, a decrease of (-) 51 per cent.
DOMESTIC SALES FOR MARCH 2020
though the 2020-21 fiscal has started with a duck, the fiscal 2019-20 saw negative
sales across the different segments, as compared to fiscal 2018-19. Passenger
sales were 2775679 units in April-March 2020, compared to 3377389 units in the
previous fiscal, a decline by (-) 17.82per cent.
According to SIAM, commercial vehicles sales
stood at 13027 units in March 2020 compared to 109,022 units in March 2019, a
decrease of (-) 88.05 per cent. Two
wheeler sales during the period was 866849 units (1440593 units), a decrease of
(-) 39.83 per cent.
DOMESTIC SALES FOR APRIL-MARCH
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