Passenger vehicle sales in India declined by over two per cent in the 2020-21 fiscal as the Covid-19 pandemic has put brakes on the sector which has already been witnessing a structural slowdown over the last few years, industry body SIAM said.
As per the latest data by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), in the 2020-21 fiscal, passenger vehicle wholesales declined by 2.24 per cent to 27,11,457 units as against 27,73,519 units in 2019-20.
Similarly, total two-wheeler dispatches during the last fiscal by companies to their respective dealer partners declined by 13.19 per cent to 1,51,19,387 units, as compared to 1,74,16,432 units in 2019-20.
Total commercial vehicles sales declined by 20.77 per cent to 5,68,559 units last financial year, as against 7,17,593 units in 2019-20.
Dispatches of three-wheelers saw a drop of 66.06 per cent in 2020-21 fiscal at 2,16,197 units, as against 6,37,065 units in 2019-20.
Vehicle sales across categories declined by 13.6 per cent to 1,86,15,588 units, as against 2,15,45,551 units in the year-ago period.
“On the sales front, a deep structural slowdown in the industry even before the pandemic, combined with the impact of COVID-19 in 2020-21, has pushed all vehicle segments back by many years. Recovery from here will require time and efforts, by all stakeholders," SIAM President Kenichi Ayukawa said.
There is uncertainty in the value chain owing to semiconductors, lockdowns and raw materials, he added.
“In an environment of uncertainty, instead of trying to predict the future, we will all work hard to create it," Ayukawa noted.
SIAM has cited data in the past to show that the pandemic is not the only reason for the auto sector slowdown, which is facing deeper structural issues that need attention.
According to the findings of a research conducted by the industry body, compounded annual growth rates of all segments, including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, three-wheelers and two-wheelers have witnessed a continuous drop over the last three decades.
Elaborating further SIAM director general, Rajesh Menon said in the last fiscal there was a de-growth in sales of all segments compared to the previous years.
“If we look at the fourth quarter January-March 2021 sales which might include some deferred sales from previous quarters, only passenger vehicle segment at 9.34 lakh sales was marginally above the previous high of January-March 2018 period at 8.62 lakh units," Menon added.
Commercial vehicles sales at 2.1 lakh in the January-March period of 2021 were below 2.82 lakh in the January-March period of 2018, Menon noted.
“Similarly, two-wheeler sales in January-March 2021 stood at 43.54 lakh against January-March 2018 figures of 51.13 lakh units. Three-wheeler segment was the worst hit with sales of 86,000 units in the period under review as compared to 1.97 lakh in January-March 2018," Menon said.
In March, domestic passenger vehicle wholesales in India increased to 2,90,939 units in March as compared to the same month last year which saw disruptions due to the COVID-19-led lockdown.
Passenger vehicle sales in March 2020 stood at 1,35,196 units. Similarly, two-wheeler dispatches to dealers rose to 14,96,806 units, compared to 8,66,845 units in March 2020, SIAM said.
Motorcycle sales increased to 9,93,996 units as against 5,70,858 in March 2020.
Similarly, scooter sales were also up to 4,57,677 units, from 2,63,070 units a year ago.
Three-wheeler sales increased to 31,930 units, as compared to 27,608 units in March last year.
Vehicle sales across categories rose to 18,19,682 units last month, as against 10,29,518 units in the year-ago period.