Bajaj Auto sold only 98,412 two-wheelers in India last month compared to 2,20,213 units in March 2019
While India is undergoing a state of complete shutdown to confine the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus, several businesses have been severely affected directly or indirectly. The Indian automotive industry is witnessing immense losses and many small-scale businesses coming under it are at the verge of being closed forever. Sales in March 2020 have slumped to an all-time low (in recent automotive history) and experts speculate that April 2020 would be even worse.
Bajaj Auto has shared its March 2020 sales chart. The Indian automaker sold a total of 2,10,976 two-wheelers and 31,599 commercial vehicles (three-wheelers and Qute quadricycle) last month. This is a decline of 35% and 55%, respectively, compared to March 2019 which saw Bajaj two-wheelers hitting 3,23,538 units while commercial vehicles achieved 69,813 units.
Among Bajaj two-wheelers, domestic sales in March 2020 accounted for just 98,412 units compared to a much higher 2,20,213 units back in the same month, a year before. This is a drop of 55%. Exports, on the other hand, hit 1,12,564 units compared to 1,03,325 units last year and enjoyed a growth of 9%.
Bajaj Sales / Exports – March 2020
|CV (3W & quadricycle)|
Coming to the brand’s CV (Commercial Vehicles) business, 18,129 units were sold in India last month as against 38,972 units in March 2019 (a sales decline of 53%). CV exports hit 13,470 units in March 2020 compared to 30,841 units before and faced a drop of 56%.
In total, Bajaj Auto sold 2,42,575 units in March 2020 and underwent a decline of 38% compared to 3,93,351 units in March 2019. Bajaj Auto is not the only OEM in India that has faced a substantial drop in sales. The case is worse in the Indian four-wheeler market.
The Indian government’s lockdown protocol came around the same time when major dealerships were struggling to sell off their remaining BS4 stock ahead of April. The Supreme Court had extended the BS4 deadline by 10 days post lockdown but on a conditional basis.
So far, in the two-wheeler segment, only Hero MotoCorp has been vocal about the dealerships’ challenge and inevitable losses owing to the sale of BS4 units. One cannot blame OEMs either since they are also going through a rough phase.
As per current norms, dealerships with leftover BS4 stock (after the deadline) are given three options: (1) register them as used vehicles, (2) approach parent OEM for a buyback scheme, or (3) send them for scrap (following proper guidelines). Many dealerships are expecting the government to lend support at least in the form of a more feasible deadline extension. Concerned authorities have already announced support programmes for struggling businesses but it seems that India’s automotive industry is being ignored.