Auto india
India’s COVID-19 lockdown has brought automotive sales in the country to a complete standstill with a 100 per cent year-over-year drop. Image Credit: Maruti Suzuki

Since March 25, India has been on lockdown and it brought a stop to all manufacturing and selling of vehicles in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic its economy - like most countries in the world - has taken a huge knock. But according to reports, during the month of April, there were exactly zero domestic car sales...

Sales data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) reveals that Indian manufacturers sold 2,773,575 passenger vehicles in the 2019-2020 financial year. Previous year’s sales figures were healthier (in 2017-2018 the numbers stood at 3,288,581 and 3,377,389 in 2018-2019) but now the industry is losing more than $306 million per day.

In March, year-over-year domestic Maruti Suzuki sales dropped 48 percent, while Mahindra & Mahindra sales dropped 90 percent. Vehicle sales were already on a downward path but zero sales is almost unheard of.

Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the country's biggest automotive manufacturers, sold 41,603 light passenger vehicles in April 2019. Maruti Suzuki, another giant within the country, domestically sold 134,068 in April 2019. However, they both watched those numbers fall to nothing a year later as production facilities and dealerships were shut down.

"At Mahindra, we are working hand-in-hand with all stakeholders, especially our dealer and supplier partners, to get our ecosystem started, once the lockdown is lifted," Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mahindra & Mahindra's automotive division, said in a press release. "The safety of all our employees will be of paramount importance to us while resuming our operations. We are hopeful that our dealerships will open soon and have stocks to cover the first few weeks of sale.

The lockdown is planned to be lifted on May 17.