Maharashtra curbs may hit auto industry’s rebound

2021-04-06 03:33:24

NEW DELHI: The fresh Covid lockdown in Maharashtra has become a worry for the car industry, which fears that the recent boost in demand may be punctured, especially on the retail front.
Dealers too are worried and say that a prolonged period of shutdown may lead to closure of many car and two-wheeler retailers, many of whom are still to recover fully from the negative impact of the first lockdown of last year.
Maharashtra is estimated to contribute 15-20% to the country’s car and SUV sales and a reversal in demand in the state due to restrictions will disturb the resurgence of the industry, company executives told TOI.
While companies expressed solidarity with the state’s measures in view of the difficult situation as Covid cases see a surge, the reduction in on-ground activity may pull the industry down once again, officials said.
Vinkesh Gulati, president of Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, said the fresh restrictions still need clarity which they are now seeking through meetings with the state government.
“All indications, however, point out that showrooms need to be shut for now. This will be really, really bad for the companies and the dealers.”
Companies are also worried as the auspicious Gudi Padwa period — which accounts for a significant portion of sales in the state — may fall in the new lockdown phase.
“A large number of vehicles are sold during Gudi Padwa, and it is like Dhanteras and Diwali in the north. Any loss of sales now may not be recovered later,” an official with a two-wheeler company said.

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