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The current lockdown and curfew restrictions are likely to affect car and bike sales in India once again. Some parts of the country are under lockdown while many more are under a curfew at the moment, and this will surely affect the sales figures of cars and motorcycles in India. Buyers can't walk into dealerships to purchase a car or a motorcycle, thereby reducing sales.
The world has been reeling under the effects of the COVID-19 virus and its spread for well over a year now. It was in the month of March 2020 that the Indian government decided to place the country under a lockdown to stop the virus from spreading further. This impacted all industries and the automobile industry was one of the worst-hit.
Manufacturing plants had closed down or were operating on skeleton shifts, and dealerships had closed down too. The shutting down of dealerships, and the general public not being allowed on the roads simply meant that sales couldn't happen in any way. After a few weeks, automotive brands across the country took steps to adapt to the new normal.
Almost all car and motorcycle manufacturers switched to online bookings and sales. A few brands even switched to contactless home-deliveries of vehicles. This did result in some sales, but the numbers didn't really increase as much as the industry would've wanted it to. Sales gradually increased only once the government slowly started the unlock phases.
Showroom floors were thrown open once again and the manufacturing units started production in full swing again. Since the last quarter of 2020, the automotive industry has only improved day after day and it gradually got back to normal production by the start of 2021. Since then, several new cars and motorcycles have been launched in India.
Now though, it does look like things might go downhill once again. The number of cases of COVID-19 being reported daily in the Indian market have steadily increased over the last three months. Over the last few days, India has been reporting the highest single-day count of COVID-19 cases.
As a result of this, a few state governments have taken some precautionary measures. The government of Maharashtra has put the state under lockdown. As a result of this, all automotive manufacturers based out of Maharashtra are now running on minimum numbers. Dealerships though are shut, and hence vehicles are not being sold from the showroom floor.
Hero MotoCorp announced a temporary halt in production. Toyota just announced that its plant at Bidadi, near Bangalore is set to go through a periodic maintenance and have timed it in accordance with the curfew implemented in the city. Many parts of the country have restrictions on the movement of people for non-essential activities.
Thanks to all these new rules and regulations, curfews and lockdowns, the sales of automobiles is expected to take a sharp dip. How big a hit the industry will take is something that we will understand only when the sales figures for April 2020 come out at the end of the month.
Thoughts On Lockdown & Curfew Restrictions Affecting Car & Bike Sales In 2021
The people are tired of having lockdowns and curfews. However, there seems to be no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic. While authorities and frontline workers struggle to fight the disease, those working in the automotive sector are preparing to face the brunt these lockdowns and curfews will have on sales figures.
This is the second year in a row for sales to be dropping horribly. We just hope that the industry can recover from this mess once the lockdowns are lifted.