The automobile sector is one of the most affected industries due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The sector was already witnessing a slow demand from the market which further deteriorated due to the nationwide lockdown. Nevertheless, the automobile sector is gradually moving towards the new normal wherein several manufacturers have resumed operations at their respective plants across the country. However, the two-wheeler sales are expected to remain in the slow lane throughout this fiscal, according to Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's Director Sales and Marketing, Yadvinder Singh Guleria. The HMSI senior official told PTI that the coronavirus lockdown having already taken its toll on dispatches in the first quarter would continue to affect the two-wheeler sales this fiscal.
However, the two-wheeler manufacturer remains very optimistic with its approach towards long-term prospects, especially for the domestic two-wheeler industry. According to a survey, people are now more inclined towards purchasing a two-wheeler to stay safe and maintain social distancing in these unprecedented times.
HMSI Director Sales and Marketing Yadvinder Singh Guleria said, "Literally, the first quarter has gone so there is no way you can cover in nine months for the entire year. The industry itself was already in slowdown mode and COVID-19 has only added to the worse situation. To say that this year sales are going to be positive, that is not possible...recovery is not possible this year, it will still be a double-digit de-growth in 2020-21."
The company is expecting the situation to improve over the next few months. HMSI sold over 1.15 lakh units last month, wherein more than one-third of the customers shifted from public transport to buying a new vehicle to follow social distancing norms.
He further claimed that there is not much change in the buying behaviour of the customers as 55 per cent preferred cash while the remaining 45 per cent are still inclined towards the financed two-wheeler. Also, the customers prefer schemes offering low down payment as they are looking to preserve cash during these tough times. The company confirmed that its 250 supply chain partners having 308 plants have received a green signal to resume operations by the end of this month. The two-wheeler manufacturer will be ramping up the production at its plants as per the market demand.