Coronavirus lockdown: Auto makers see zero car sales in April
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy has been indisputable, however, for the auto industry, the impact may be especially catastrophic. To tackle the outbreak, India was placed under lockdown from March 25 to April 14, which was extended till May 3. With an entire month under the lockdown, automakers report zero or negligible car sales in April.
Officially sold zero cars in a month: Skoda India Director
Director at Skoda Auto India, Zac Hollis, said in a tweet on Friday, "Well after 30 years in the Motor Industry, this will be the first time in my career that I will have officially sold zero cars in a month." Hollis added, "I know the business will return soon, in the meantime stay safe everyone and follow the Government guidelines wherever you are."
You can view the tweet here
Maruti Suzuki to also make zero sales this month
Along with the demand for automobiles, manufacturing, too, has taken a hit during the lockdown as factories and dealerships remain shuttered. Maruti Suzuki Chairperson RC Bhargava told HT Auto on Saturday, "It has never happened that there is a month in the year when there would be zero sales of automobiles. April is going to be such a month."
Last month, auto sales fell drastically
Notably, the downturn in the auto sector was apparent even last month. Maruti Suzuki reduced production by 32% as its domestic wholesales in March stood at 79,080 units, falling by 46.4% as compared to March 2019. Similarly, Hyundai reported a dip of 40.69% in domestic sales last month, Tata Motors' sales dipped by 84% while Mahindra and Mahindra's sales fell by 90%.
What does the future hold?
According to HT Auto, market analysts say that the future of the auto sector depends on how carmakers emerge from the lockdown, and not on the assessment of April sales. A report by audit firm KPMG said that new product launches could either be delayed or discarded entirely. For better or for worse, the crisis will change the way the sector moves forward.
'Auto industry to return to normal by June 2021'
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Chairperson Vikram Kirloskar told ETAuto that the auto industry could take until June 2021 to return to normal. "The first half of this year will go by in trying to get back on our feet. Hopefully, the second half will pick up."