April retail vehicle sales fall 28% month-on-month

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With almost all States resorting to either a partial or a full lockdown amid the second wave of COVID-19, total retail vehicles registrations declined by 28% to about 11.85 lakh units in the last month as compared to sales of over 16.49 lakh units in March 2021, the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA) said on Monday.

For the full year ending March 31, 2021, total vehicle sales fell nearly 30% to 1.52 crore units. The annual vehicle registrations are below FY12-13 levels, lowest in eight years.

The automotive dealers’ body added that the second wave of the pandemic had not only hit urban markets but also unsettled the rural markets, which were relatively insulated during the first wave. Hence, the recovery for the sector was expected to take longer compared to the recovery which followed the first wave.

As per the data released by the industry body, retail sales of passenger vehicle declined 25.33% month-on-month to over 2.79 lakh units, while two-wheeler sales fell 27.63% to about 11.95 lakh units, three-wheelers sales were lower by 43.11% to 38,034 units and commercial vehicles sales fell 23.65% to 67,372 units. Sales of tractors was also down 44.58% month-on-month to 69,082 units.

All comparisons have been made month-on-month as April 2020 saw zero vehicle registration due to the nationwide lockdown.

FADA president Vinkesh Gulati said, “...This time, the spread is not only limited to urban markets but has also taken rural India in its grasp. Auto registrations for the month of April witnessed double digit fall m-o-m as most of the Indian States started going under lockdown (partial as well as full) April 5th onwards.”

For the full year, all vehicle segments witnessed a decline during the year, except for tractors, which grew 16.11% to 6.44 lakh units. Passenger vehicles fell nearly 14% to 23.86 lakh units, two-wheeler sales were down 31.51% to 1.15 crore units, commercial vehicle sales decreased 49% to 4.48 lakh units and three-wheeler sales were down 64% to 2.58 lakh units.

FADA said the first nine days of May had seen extremely lean sales due to lockdown announced by the majority of States. Even where the dealerships were open, walk-ins had dropped to 30% and customers were delaying their purchase decision.

The industry body expected May to remain “sluggish”.

On the long-term sales outlook, it expected recovery to be slower than after the first wave due to the impact of the pandemic on the rural markets as well this time. “The only ray of hope lies on monsoon’s arrival on time ...The country’s weather office has also said that India is expected to get average monsoon rains this year, thus raising expectations of higher farm output, which is central to the country's economy. This will also lead to rural markets recovering faster than urban,” it said.

The industry body added that recovery from the lows of FY21, to reach the highs of FY19, was expected only by FY23.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 4:45:13 PM |

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