‘Unlock 1.0’ protocols has seen a steady stream of buyers going to two-wheeler showrooms
The COVID-19 pandemic, which struck earlier this year, sent the already-constrained auto sector into a further state of depression. Several automakers announced zero domestic sales in May 2019 as showrooms and plants remained shut. The Indian government decided to put ‘Unlock 1.0’ strategy into force in early June with a set of guidelines. Owing to this, automakers opened doors of both plants and dealerships.
COVID-19 has caused citizens to shy away from using public means of transportation such as buses and auto-rickshaws. Now, the industry is witnessing an increasing demand for new vehicles, especially for scooters and motorcycles. There is still an element of financial uncertainty and hence, buyers in this segment are steering away from making four-wheeler purchases.
Leading two-wheeler companies like Hero, Honda, Bajaj, TVS and others, have reportedly achieved 80 percent of their sales targets in 2020 as compared to that seen in the same period a year before. Leading this bounce in sales will be India’s best selling two wheelers – Honda Activa and Hero Splendor. On the other hand, four-wheeler sales remain on the lower side despite the introduction of multiple online sales platforms. Two-wheeler sales saw a notable increase due to several schemes and benefits introduced by two-wheeler manufacturers operating in India.
Discounts were announced and after-sales services were augmented, grabbing the attention of buyers across the country. Service stations also saw a surge of two-wheeler owners coming in following the announcement of Unlock 1.0. The overall result is a sales-target achievement of 85 per cent.
Though Unlock 1.0 was announced, COVID-19 pandemic has not left the nation. Buyers are opting two-wheelers in order to stay safe and maintain social distancing indirectly by not having to rely on public services.
Scooter and motorcycle sales improved due to two factors: (1) two-wheelers come in with lower down payments and (2) attractive finance schemes can support up to 70 per cent of the total cost. This ensures easy repayment for almost all buyers’ categories. A survey suggests that sales are set to rise even further in the months ahead due to the announcement of normal monsoons and several re-structural reforms in the agricultural sector.
In view of the present scenario, brands are attracting buyers with special schemes and benefits. Budget two-wheelers sold in the range of Rs 55,000-75,000 ex-showroom are offered with easy EMIs between starting at Rs 2,000-2,500 depending on the period of financing selected. Manufacturers have also stepped up their offers to enhance sales by waiving off resale or handling charges in case buyers wish to exchange their old two-wheeler for a new one. The upcoming festive season might witness significant growth in automotive sales.