COVID impact: Auto sales drop by 28 per cent for April 2021
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) has reported that auto sales across categories have fallen 28 per cent in April 2021 due to the spreading second wave of the pandemic that's caused various state governments to announce lockdowns. Versus regular yearly comparisons, the data for this April is versus the preceding month of March since April 2019 showed an unprecedented zero sales with the advent of the first national lockdown last year. This time around however, the situation seems even more grim as the pandemic makes inroads to rural areas, dimming buyer's sentiments there as well.
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The initial forecast for May 2021 based on the first nine days doesn't seem encouraging, though hope is pinned on a timely monsoon arrival in June to help bolster demand in rural areas (for tractors/2W) at least. FADA estimates that the India auto market will return to FY19 levels only by FY23.
Specifically, two-wheelers saw a 28 per cent reduction, three-wheelers a 43 per cent reduction, passenger vehicle sales dropped by 25 per cent, tractor sales by 45 per cent, and commercial vehicle sales by 24 per cent, in April 2021 sales compared to March 2021 figures. Also, since the various lockdowns have been announced by states and not the Centre, there has been no talk of relief measures for dealers. FADA has urged auto manufacturers to lower the burden of billings for dealers, while it has requested the government to look into a relief package, or relaxation of loan repayments from the RBI to help dealers tide over this period.
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