Auto Sales Volume Will Take 3-4 Years To Recover, Says Industry Body

Passenger vehicle sales dropped 50% in June

India’s auto sales volume will take another 3-4 years to reach 2018 levels, with the coronavirus-induced lockdown hurting the sector already reeling from poor demand, news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday, quoting Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President Rajan Wadhera. Releasing the auto sales numbers for the month of June, SIAM on Tuesday said that passenger vehicle sales in the country declined 49.59 per cent last month compared with the corresponding period a year ago. A 57.98 per cent drop in passenger car sales contributed to the significant decline in total numbers.

Maruti Suzuki India, which sells one in every two cars in India, sold 51,274 passenger vehicles in June, down 50 per cent from a year ago, while Hyundai Motor India posted a 49 per cent slump, according to SIAM data.

“Production has been slow to pick up due to supply chain disruption and weak demand,” Mr Wadhera said. Passenger vehicle production decreased 57.74 per cent to 1,07,477 units, including a 64.95 per cent fall to 57,785 passenger cars in June, according to SIAM.

The pandemic-related disruption to the supply chain comes at a time when India’s auto industry was already facing a slowdown in demand and government rules to adopt tougher emission standards forced carmakers to hike prices, driving customers away.

India’s passenger vehicle sales rose 3 per cent to 3.37 million units in fiscal 2018-19, but fell by 18  per cent a year later due to weak demand and the onset of the pandemic, according to Reuters.

The poor sales numbers affected the equity markets too in Tuesday’s trading as stocks of industry heavyweights like Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland were down in the range of 1.60 per cent to 3.50 per cent in the afternoon. The Nifty Auto sub-index was 2.31 per cent in the red at 1:55 pm.

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