Pandemic hits automobile sector, sales down by 37.4%

By Sumit Jha  Published on  20 Sep 2020 12:51 PM GMT
Pandemic hits automobile sector, sales down by 37.4%

Hyderabad: In the past seven months, the sale of passenger vehicles in the country has declined by 37.4 per cent as compared to the previous year.

Answering to a query in the Parliament, the minister of heavy industries and public enterprises, Prakash Javadekar, said 11,93,458 new vehicles were registered between January and August this year, while 19,07,477 vehicles were registered during the same period in 2019.

This comes as a double whammy as registrations were already showing a declining trend since the past year in the wake of the slow economic growth in the country.

While there was not much difference in total registrations between 2019 and 2020 in the first three months till March, the imposition of the national lockdown in the wake of the pandemic saw registrations fall drastically from April.

For instance, it decreased from 1,40,910 in March to zero in April. In May, as the lockdown restrictions eased and automobile showrooms partially reopened, sales increased and 33,546 vehicles were sold in May. Last April, 2,47,541 passenger vehicles were registered while in May 2019, 2,26,975 vehicles were registered.

Sale picked up in June this year and it reached 1,05,617 due to the gradual lifting of the lockdown. The surge in COVID-19 cases in July didn’t have any adverse impact and sale of passenger vehicles increased by three fourth with 1,82,778 new vehicle being sold in July.

Good news awaited the automobile industry in August 2020 as 2,15,916 passenger vehicles were sold which was higher than the previous year. In August last year, 1,89,129 passenger vehicles were sold.

According to the vehicle registration database maintained by the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH), Vahan data on a year-over-year basis showed that registration of vehicles declined by 27.8 per cent in the first seven months when compared with the corresponding period during the previous year.

This is also in alignment with the overall national trend which saw a 5.52 per cent decline in vehicle registrations from 2.27 crore in 2018 to 2.14 crore in 2019. In the first seven months, there were only 0.89 crore vehicle registrations in India.

The revenue collection through alteration of motor vehicles, change of addresses in the registration certificate, renewal of a permit, etc. was increasing over the years and it is feared that this might also see a decline in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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