With the automobile sector reeling from the slowdown in demand, sales in the domestic two-wheeler industry is likely to fall on year in 2020-21 (Apr-Mar) due to price hikes because of transition to Bharat Stage-VI emission norms from April, said Rakesh Sharma, chief commercial officer at Bajaj Auto.
Speaking to business news channel CNBC TV18, Sharma said that sales in the first half of 2020-21 may fall 10-15% on year. The festival season in the second half of the year might trigger some growth, but it will not be able to make up for the double digit decline of the first half, he added.
Bajaj Auto reported a 21% year-on-year fall in domestic motorcycle sales at 146,876 units in February, while domestic commercial vehicle sales fell 38% on year to 21,871 units.
During Apr-Jan, the overall domestic motorcycle sales for the industry fell 15.05% on year to 9.8 mln units.
For the past 18 months, demand in the automobile sector has been hit due to the overall slowdown in the economy and because of several regulatory changes leading to price hikes.
Besides these problems, the auto industry has also been impacted by the disruption in supply of components from China due to the escalating coronavirus.
While the country's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp said that the disruption in supplies from China may hit its production by 10%, Sharma said that the impact on Bajaj Auto is less than 5%.
"For our electric scooter, we have got some components supply from Wuhan itself. But other than that, it is very manageable for us," Sharma added. At 1302 IST, shares of the company were trading 3.5% lower at 2,788 rupees on the NSE.
IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT.