Cumulative vehicle registration across categories fell year-on-year by 28.64 percent in March, said a dealers’ association on Thursday. The fall comes despite last year’s low base. Auto sales had come to a standstill owing to a seven-day lockdown last March.
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) warned that the lockdown in Maharashtra to contain spread of Covid-19 will have a “catastrophic impact” on April sales, as dealers will not be able to realise the potential of festivitals like Ugadi, Gudi Padwa, Baisakhi and Poila Boishakh. The state contributes 10-11 per cent of the auto retail. Overall, FADA maintains extreme caution for the month of April as Covid rises to newer highs.
“Covid is not only spreading faster but is also trying to destabilize the growth which India has been able to achieve in the last few months. Any lockdown at this point will severely hamper the momentum which is getting built for the auto Industry to come out of the woods,” said FADA in a press release.
A total of 16,49,678 units were registered during the month, compared to 23,11,687 units in the same month a year ago.
With the exception of passenger vehicles and tractors that saw registration rise 28.39 per cent and 29.21 per cent respectively, all the other segments including two-wheeler, commercial vehicles, three wheelers reported a sharp y-o-y fall. The overall registration volumes were dragged down by two wheelers, which saw a decline of 35 per cent to 18,46,613 units over the year ago period.
Global shortage of wafers which is an input for semiconductor, continued to linger around and kept PV waiting periods as high as 7 month, said FADA. According to FADA Survey, 47 per cent PV dealers said that they lost more than 20 per cent sales due to supply side constraints.
Tractors continued its dream run as rural incomes saw improvements after successive monsoons and good rabi produce. According to experts, India will witness a normal monsoon for the third year in a row. This will further see tractors performing well in FY 21-22.
Financial woes brought by Covid-19 have pushed about 32 million Indians out of the middle class, undoing years of economic gains. This had its impact on 2-wheelers as it saw one of its steepest de-growth in the last few months. This coupled with high fuel prices and price increase acted as double whammy, FADA said, citing a finding from Pew Research.