Auto industry dips down to lowest in two decades
According to numbers sourced from the industry, sales of passenger vehicles, a cumulative of cars, vans and SUVs, fell below 3-million mark in 2019, after crossing the figure for first time in 2017
Indian auto industry wrapped up one of its most difficult periods in the year 2019 as sales of cars and SUVs went into a free fall, witnessing the biggest decline in over two decades.
Rising uncertainties, difficult financing, and the economic slump kept buyers away despite heavy discounts.
Such had been the pressure that the numbers fell despite the entry of new brands such as Kia Motors and MG Motors, which surprisingly managed a strong opening even in a difficult market.
According to numbers sourced from the industry, sales of passenger vehicles — a cumulative of cars, vans and SUVs — fell below the psychological 3-million mark in 2019, after crossing the figure for the first time in 2017.
The decline was led by the top brands that included Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Honda and Toyota.
The recipe for slowdown has been in the making since the middle of 2018 when numbers had actually started falling.
The declines began to get deeper, and sharper, in the coming months and rather got more pronounced in 2019 as economic growth came under pressure and political uncertainties, with relation to the national elections, started growing
Adding to the conundrum was the confusion around the migration to BS6 emission regime from April 2020 from the existing BS4.
Rajesh Goel, director of sales and marketing at Honda Cars, said that while the tough period may continue, “The market seems to have bottomed out” for now.
Ravi Bhatia, India president for analyst firm JATO Dynamics, said that rising congestion in bigger cities and the growing share of ride-hailing apps such as Ola and Uber also contributed to the decline.