NEW DELHI: Retail auto sales in April 2022 is still 6.39 per cent lower than compared with April 2019 sales, the pre-COVID month. According to data issued by dealer association body FADA, total retail auto sales stood at 16,27,975 units in April 2022 as against 17,39,124 units in April 2019.
Sales in April 2020 and April 2021 were impacted by first and second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, hence a comparison is not suitable.
"The month of April saw similar retail figures as March 2022. While YoY comparison with April 2021 shows all categories in green with high growth rate, it is important to note that both April 2020 and April 2021 were affected by nation-wide lockdown due to phase I and II of the COVID wave which witnessed no to negligible business. Hence a better comparison will be with April 2019 which was a normal pre-COVID month," said FADA president Vinkesh Gulati.
He added, "April 2022 when compared with April 2019 reveals that we are still not out of the woods as overall retails were down by -6 per cent. Apart from passenger vehicles and tractors which grew handsomely by 12 per cent and 30 per cent, two-wheelers, three-wheelers and commercial vehicles are yet to turn green as these categories were down by -11 per cent, -13 per cent and -0.5 per cent respectively."
Passenger vehicle sales in April 2022 stood at 2,64,342 units as against 2,10,682 units in April 2021, 22,079 units in April 2020 and 2,36,217 units in April 2019. Two-wheeler sales in April 2022 stood at 11,94,520 units as against 8,65,628 units in April 2021, 3,18,596 units in April 2020 and 13,38,382 units in April 2019.
"With Russia-Ukraine war continuing and China under lockdown, the global auto industry continues
to witness supply crunch as semi-conductor shortage along with high metal prices and container shortage prevails. Customers of PV segment hence continues to witness long waiting period," said Gulati.
He added that the 2W segment which has witnessed slight increase in sales when compared to last month is extremely sensitive to price hikes and continues to remain below pre-covid levels. It is a clear sign that 'Bharat' has not been keeping up with India. Apart from rural distress, multiple price hikes coupled with high fuel prices are keeping price sensitive entry level 2W customers away.
The commercial vehicle segment after a long downturn which began post the announcement of axle load norms in 2018 is now witnessing demand recovery as all sub-categories continue to inch north.
On the near term outlook, Fada said that the Russia-Ukraine war and China lockdown will continue to create demand-supply mis-match thus delaying the availability of PVs. This coupled with RBIs out of turn announcement of increasing repo-rate by 40 bps has taken everyone off-guard. The move will curb excess liquidity in the system and will make auto loans expensive.
"While PV segment may be able to absorb this shock due to long waiting periods, 2W segment is already reeling due to underperforming rural market, vehicle price hikes and high fuel costs. High interest rates
for vehicle loan will be an additional blow for this segment. Certainly, this move will slow the speed of auto retail and dampen the sentiments further," said the dealers body.