Toyota India impacted by coronavirus as domestic sales plunge
The Indian automobile sector has taken a major hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Car and two-wheeler sales have witnessed a major downfall. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) sold 7023 units in March 2020, a 45 per cent drop in comparison to its sales figures from March 2019, when the Japanese carmaker sold 12,818 units in the domestic market.
Toyota also announced that the brand has withheld sales by 50 per cent for March 2020 to lessen the burden on their dealers. In addition to the domestic sales, Toyota also exported 999 units of the Etios range taking the total March 2020 sales figure to 8022 units. The brand is also ensuring the sustainability of dealers amidst these challenging times. Toyota analysed the fixed cost expenses of dealerships and introduced a relief package called ‘COVID package’ to assist with liquidity flow. Toyota will also undertake sanitisation measures once the lockdown ends.
Commenting on the monthly sales, Naveen Soni, Senior VP, Sales and Service, TKM, said, “Even though the company has been long successful in liquidating all BS4 stock and transitioning into a 100 per cent BS6 manufacturing facility, last month has been very challenging for us, both in terms of sales as well as production. With the spread of COVID-19 threat in various parts of the country followed by the 21 days national lockdown, the company’s priority was to ensure the safety and well being of all its stakeholders and most importantly our dealers and their staff who are in the front-line. To bring this to immediate effect, our dealerships across the country were shut down beginning March 23 along with a temporary halt of production at our plant in Bidadi.”
The BS6 transition and the coronavirus lockdown will have an unprecedented impact on the Indian automotive landscape. However, Toyota have been bracing for this shift since quite a few months. The brand stopped production of the Etios range and the Corolla Altis as the hefty BS6 transition costs made no sensible business case for these models. Currently, the Glanza, Innova Crysta and the Fortuner are some of the brand's top-selling cars.