Staying indoors and social distancing have taken priority over everything else in a bid to remain protected from the Coronavirus outbreak. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has also extended the lockdown to May 3 now seeing the rising number of Coronavirus cases in India and automakers are adhering to the decision as well. Though they are acknowledging the heavy losses their businesses are incurring due to operations being stopped, it's now become a second concern for automakers as safety of employees and general public have taken precedence.
In a tweet Pawan Goenka, Managing Director- Mahindra and Mahindra said, "I am sure a difficult decision to extend lockdown to May 3rd but I believe the right decision. It is up to all of us to ensure that the PM does not have to extend it further. Please follow all the rules and discipline of lockdown. Stay Safe."
I am sure a difficult decision to extend lockdown to May 3rd but I believe the right decision. It is up to all of us to ensure that the PM does not have to extend it further. Please follow all the rules and discipline of lockdown. Stay Safe. @PMOIndia @MahindraRise— Pawan K Goenka (@GoenkaPk) April 14, 2020
Reacting on the extension, Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President, Sales and Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Said, "At times like these, it is imperative for all of us to join hands as a community and support the Governments, civil society, as well as healthcare institutions in their multidimensional actions to help "flatten the curve". It goes without saying that the Indian economy will take a substantial hit, but given the resilience we have shown during previous global economic crisis as also the strong fundamentals of our domestic economic structure we can expect a quicker rebound than other countries."
Even the electric vehicle sector will face strong headwinds but Sohinder Gill, Director General, Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles said, "This is the testing time for the EV industry, which is at the nascent stage, and I appeal to all the stakeholders to conserve cash, take care of our workmen and utilize this time to plan ahead. We are confident that the industry will be able to spring back into action to recover the losses due to this shutdown."
Speaking on similar lines, Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman Hero MotoCorp said, "I support the honorable Prime Minister's move to extend the lockdown till May 3rd, with the topmost priority being the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of our country. The decision to allow graded relaxation and partial opening of certain areas from April 21 that show improvement is also welcome. While continuing to play its role in supporting the government through various means and measures, Corporate India looks forward to a suitable stimulus package from the government that will give a boost to our economy."
The entire auto industry is definitely doing its bid and is abiding by the lockdown and is confident that sales will bounce back post the lockdown, but automakers are also expecting some relief package or policy support from the government. The Federation of Automotive Dealers Associations (FADA) has already written to the Prime Minister asking for cuts in GST rates and ESCI support for salary payment to its employees as auto dealers employee almost 40 lakh people in the country. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has also said that the entire auto industry is incurring a loss of ₹ 2300 crore per day of closure and is expecting a loss of over 30 per cent in sales post the lockdown. The time is even more crucial as the industry has transitioned to BS6 emission standards and sales of updated models will only help them to recover statement.