As major automakers around the country observe lockdown, the sales performance of the companies has reflected on the steepest fall ever. The four-wheeler industry reported an average year-on-year decline of 67 per cent in the month of May due to the lockdown that was imposed mid-month.
India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported a decline of 47 per cent. The company sold 76,240 units last month as against the 1,45,031 units it sold in the same time last year. German automaker Volkswagen showed the worst decline standing at 95 per cent. Ranking second in terms of market share in the Indian market, Hyundai Motor India showed a decline of 41 per cent.
Among Indian auto makers, Mahindra suffered the heaviest blow after it reported 88 per cent decline in March. The manufacturer sold 3,383 units last month as against the 27,637 units it sold in March 2019.
The lockdown has globally affected automakers who have reported critically declining in sales due to production halts. As the Coronavirus continue to grip countries crippling economies, automakers were forced to shut down plants in light of the risk of spreading. However, in order to tackle the outbreak, several manufacturers, globally as well as in India have pledged to convert their plants to produce ventilators and other safety equipment to tackle the situation.
Maruti Suzuki had announced that it will begin the production of ventilators at its plant to help with the rising cases of COVID-19 in India. An arrangement was made with AgVa Healthcare, an existing approved manufacturer of ventilators. MSIL would work with AgVa Healthcare to rapidly scale up production of ventilators. The intention is to reach a volume of 10,000 units per month.
Similarly, engineers at the Mahindra Group are working on manufacturing prototypes of ventilators as India faces a shortage of the lifesaving medical device and the engineers involved in the making the design expect it to cost less than Rs 7,500.