COVID-19 Impact: Automakers Suffer Massive Sales Decline in March; Expect Worst to Come

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Volkswagen sold just 131 units last month compared to the 2,751 units it sold in the same month last year.

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Car sales in India have suffered deeply due to the lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of COVID-19 in India. TO mitigate the spread of Coronavirus, manufacturers halted their production that critically affected their reflecting in their year-on-year growth sale. Volkswagen, for instance, suffered the most after it reported a decline of 95 per cent in March after it sold just 131 units last month compared to the 2,751 units it sold in the same month last year.

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. 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.

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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.

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