COVID-19 aka the Corona Virus has created an international panic and India is one of the largest targets in the virus' vision. With 133 crore people residing in our country, it basically takes one person at a busy train station to get the whole country infected but this isn't a news website or a healthcare website, this is an automotive website.
So today we are going to find out how a microscopic virus can wreck havoc in a Rs.2000 crore per annum industry in a matter of days.
In late 2019, the Indian Government announced that all automotive manufacturers have to finish off their remaining BS4 stock before April 1st, all manufacturers immediately stopped production of BS4 vehicles obviously but they had produced so many that they basically had to think of innovative ways of selling them.
Well in this case innovative means basically giving good deals and discounts on BS4 vehicles, many luxury manufacturers like Audi, BMW & Mercedes were giving out cars at ex-showroom prices. Jaguar is giving a 31 lac rupees discount on their flagship XJ sedan. Bike manufacturers were also giving out great deals. KTM is selling their Duke 250 for a hefty discount and BMW is selling their 310 models at ex-showroom prices as well benefits. But amongst all of this, Royal Enfield is the only brand which has come out victorious. A few days ago RE announced that they had exhausted all of their remaining BS4 stock and now they only have BS6 vehicles on sale.
So how has the Corona Virus affected the industry you say? Well as of March 2020, many manufacturers are still struggling and becoming super desperate to finish off their remaining BS4 stock and in early March, the Indian government announced that the Corona Virus has entered India and is now posing a threat to all of the citizens.
To ensure the safety and security of citizens the government has taken many precautions such as making people work from home and telling citizens to not leave their homes unless and until it is an absolute emergency. And as of Sunday, March 22nd, the PM of India has imposed a Janta Curfew nationwide. This means the citizens are on high alert and their first priority is to keep their family safe and healthy.
All of the potential buyers for each and every brand have been diverted from their daily routine and now are sitting at home waiting for this pandemic to get over. In situations like these, purchasing an expensive item like a car or a bike is the last thing that a consumer wants to do. Even if they want to, since COVID-19 is a contagious disease, they assume that all of the imported or CKD units are contaminated with the virus. This makes the sale of vehicles in this time very hard.
Apart from that, the Indian automotive sector is already on a slow down and after COVID-19, all manufacturing plants have been partially or completely shut down in order to avoid mass contamination. This means, the brands which have their BS4 stock still unsold are already struggling but now they also don't have any new shiny products rolling in. Basically for the manufacturers, this is their worst nightmare but for us consumers this is the BEST time to go out and buy the vehicles you want. Dealers are giving insane discounts and incentives on vehicles.
But before you go out, we obviously want everyone to be as safe as possible. Please maintain your personal hygiene and avoid touching unnecessary surfaces and physical contact. Carry your hand sanitisers and tOiLeT pApERs at all times and let's get this pandemic over with.