The auto industry has been facing an unprecedented fall in sales and with the lockdown across the nation because of the coronavirus, it certainly has taken a toll on the numbers in March this year. According to a report in ET Auto, the sales in March 2020 are expected to be down by 40-80% across segments. According to the report, performance in March has eclipsed declines during events such as demonetisation in late 2016, implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in 2017 and the global financial crisis of 2008.
Passenger vehicle sales are seen at 145,000-150,000 units in March which is half of what the numbers were in 2019. The two-wheeler side of things too is bleak as sales are expected to drop by almost 45 per cent.
The CV space too will see a big drop in sales Vinod Agarwal, managing director and CEO of VE Commercial Vehicle told ET Auto, "With the closure of registration authorities, the registrations of BS-4 trucks that need to be completed by March 31 have been impacted, And, on the top of it, due to uncertainties related to the lockdown, financiers are also very cautious to finance new trucks, impacting truck sales."
This is not the first time the Indian automotive industry has witnessed a decline in sales. It was in November 2008 that the car sales dipped by 24 per cent. Two-wheelers and CVs too witnessed a massive decline. However, March 2020, will clearly be remembered as a month and a year where sales dropped even further. The sales will decline even in April as the government has announced the lockdown till April 14, 2020.
The March sales show a clear decline and Maruti Suzuki India sold 83,792 units in March compared 158,076 units last year, a decline of 47 per cent. The carmaker said that the numbers were not comparable as the company had to suspend operations from March 22, in line with the government's lockdown order.