Nation’s auto sector fears further decline as vehicle and fuel sales drop amid COVID lockdowns
As COVID continues to ravage the country and more and more restricted areas, the auto industry is concerned that the green shoots that had started to appear may not survive for long.
According to reports citing a senior BPCL official, fuel sales in April fell as aggregate demand at the end of the month fell 7%. Preliminary data released by state-owned retailers shows gasoline sales were at their lowest since August of last year.
Auto sales also saw a similar decline, especially in the passenger car segment. Vehicle sales by dealers to manufacturers were down 7% in April from the previous month. The month of April of last year, at the height of the lockdown period, marked a total collapse.
Major automakers including Maruti Suzuki and Toyota, as well as two-wheeler brands like Hero and Honda, have already announced a suspension of production at their factories due to the second wave of infection. Some of them used the disruption to run their maintenance programs.
Within a week, global energy consultants Rystad Energy lowered the demand estimate for India’s refined products and forecast a decline to 2.8 million bpd in May 2021, a downward revision of 160,000. barrels per day (bpd) compared to the estimate of a week earlier.