With at least a quarter of the country’s showrooms remaining shut due to the partial lockdown called by states, retail sales of all automobiles remained muted during April. In the same month last year there was zero sales due to the strict national lockdown announced by the centre and therefore there is no year-on-year comparison for April 2021.
As per vehicle registration data shared by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA), April 2021 saw sales of 1.18 million units. The industry had clocked sales of 1.73 million units during April 2019.
All automakers have simultaneously cut back on their production with several factories kept shut to avoid piling up of inventory.
Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Cars India, MG Motor, Toyota Kirloskar, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India and Escorts have shut down their plants while Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra have reduced production.
Vinkesh Gulati, FADA president, said, “Auto registrations for the month of April witnessed double digit fall to the tune of 28 percent (month-on-month) as most of the Indian states started going under lockdown (partial as well as full) beginning April 5 onwards. This time, the spread is not only limited to urban markets but has also taken rural India in its grasp”.
Passenger vehicles (cars, SUV, vans) closed April with sales of 208883 units while two-wheelers saw sales of 865134 units. Commercial vehicle sales closed April with 51436 units whereas tractors sales stood at 38285 units.
Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Goa, are some of the states that have announced full lockdowns, putting automotive sales in the non-essential category.
“FADA humbly requests automakers to handhold their dealers the way they did last year during the first phase of pandemic. The situation is very grim in most states and dealers as well as their teams are fighting for their survival from Covid-19. FADA also requests automakers not burden dealers with high billings in all the states where lockdown has been announced”, Gulati added.
The average inventory for April for PVs stood at 15-17 days while for two-wheelers it stood at 30-35 days. The plant shutdowns announced by the auto companies will further reduce the inventory days.
‘The first 9 days of May have seen extremely lean sales due to lockdown announced by the majority of states. Even where dealerships are open, the walk-ins have dropped to 30 percent and customers are delaying their purchase decision’, FADA said in a statement.