Vehicle sales drop to zero in April
Auto makers, including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, MG Motor, Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra, did not report any sales in April as the nationwide lockdown took a toll on the sector and manufacturing units were shut.
The industry, which entered the new financial year with zero sales, is looking forward to the government to come with some sort of relief measure for the sector.
“Maruti Suzuki had zero sales in the domestic market, (including sales to OEMs), in April 2020 as in compliance with government orders all production facilities were closed. Meanwhile, following the resumption of port operations, the first export shipment of 632 units was undertaken from the Mundra port, ensuring that all guidelines for safety were followed,” Maruti said.
The auto companies are now gearing up to restart operations for which discussions with factory heads, parts vendors, state administration, dealers, services centres, supply distribution and retail customers have begun.
The automobile sector in the country has been on a virtual standstill since March 25. Production plants have been shut and dealerships have been closed too.
The Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has pegged the losses at Rs 2,300 crore for each day of the nationwide lockdown. The industry is demanding an immediate 10 per cent reduction in GST from the current 28 per cent as a lifeline.
The auto components industry, too, had demanded a uniform GST of 18 per cent. At present, 60 per cent of auto components are taxed at 18 per cent, while the rest are in the 28 per cent slab.
The industry is talking to the government to find a way to source components from red zones. Representatives of auto companies also requested the department of heavy industries to extend the date for registration of BS-IV vehicles.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had allowed the registration of BS-IV vehicles till April 30 but the lockdown has made registration difficult in many parts of the country.
They have also requested the government for an early introduction of an incentive-based scrappage policy to boost demand for BS-VI vehicles.
“At Mahindra, we are working hand in hand with all stakeholders, especially our dealers and supplier partners, to get our ecosystem started once the lockdown is lifted. The safety of all our employees will be of paramount importance to us while resuming our operations.
“We are hopeful that our dealerships will open soon and have stocks to cover the first few weeks of sale. In the export market we have sold 733 vehicles during April,” said Veejay Nakra, CEO of the automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra.
“Hyundai Motor India registered exports sales of 1,341 units in the month of April 2020. However, domestic sales stood nil amid a nationwide lockdown.”
MG Motor India said “it did not sell any cars in April as dealerships remained closed”.
“There has been some movement in the market as dealers are receiving some enquiries. We have made provisions to entirely digitise the sales process wherein we have a 360-degree product views offering a virtual tour of the vehicle, select financing options and even receive a quotation online. We have also made provisions for delivering the vehicle to the customer’s doorstep upon the completion of purchase,' said Naveen Soni, senior vice-president, sales & services, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.