The worldwide swan dive of new car sales in March hinted that the month to come would be grimmer yet, and the signs didn't disappoint. Car sales in the United States weren't half of what they were this time last year according to the Wall Street Journal, though even troubled American dealers are surely grateful that they don't face the predicament of their Indian counterparts, who reportedly sold a flat zero vehicles in April.
India's three biggest automakers Maruti-Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Hyundai combined for a whopping zero new car sales last month according to Bloomberg, though it wasn't due to lack of demand; Maruti averaged 120,000 sales monthly in the year leading up to a bleak April. Instead, The Economic Times reports that India's auto industry came to a halt due to a mid-March government order that forced the closure of "garages" and "vehicle showrooms," which also encompassed motorcycle dealers.
Dealers in wealthier countries have been able to lean on rapidly developed online sales avenues to continue their businesses, though Indian dealers have had no such luck. Hyundai's online sales initiative, which went live countrywide in early April according to India Today, seems to have had no takers, and the larger Maruti-Suzuki failed to launch an online sales program until this past Friday, reports Times Drive.
Sales numbers in other parts of Asia and Europe are also tumbling drastically. New vehicle sales were reportedly down 89 percent in France last month, and 97 percent in the United Kingdom, with total sales volume at its lowest since 1946. Italy, responding aggressively to its devastating COVID-19 outbreak, suffered a 98 percent decline, though Indian dealers are likely pining for a slice of the pie even that small by now.
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h/t Car Advice