As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown issued to contain the coronavirus, Ashok Leyland, for the first time ever, has registered zero sales in the month of April 2020.
Vipin Sondhi, CEO & MD, Ashok Leyland says the recovery of the auto industry is vital for the economy
Ashok Leyland has released the sales report for the month of April 2020. Last month, like all other automakers in India, for the first time ever, the company registered zero vehicle sales, domestic and exports combined. This is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant nationwide lockdown issued to contain the coronavirus. The company had suspended production, retail, and export activities starting from the end of March, throughout the month of April 2020, resulting in the stagnation of vehicle sales.
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Commenting on the company’s sales performance, Vipin Sondhi, CEO & MD, Ashok Leyland said, “These are truly unprecedented times, and both Government and Industry need to work even more closely, across the supply chain to bring the industry back on its feet. The recovery of the auto industry is vital for the revival of the overall economy. For the first time ever in the history of the Automotive industry in India, we have seen a ‘zero sale’ month, in April 2020.”
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In comparison, Ashok Leyland’s total sales (domestic + exports) a year back, for the month of April 2019, stood at 13626 units. While domestic sales stood at 13141 units, exports accounted for 485 units. Out of the total sales, 7645 units were medium and heavy trucks, 1701 units were medium and heavy buses and 4280 units of light commercial vehicles.
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Earlier in April 2020, Ashok Leyland also announced receiving permission to resume operations at its Alwar, Bhandara and Pantnagar plants. However, the company said that it will assess its supply chain readiness, and then decide when to commence production based on market demand. Commenting on the same, Sondhi said, “Auto OEM’s are dependent on the ancillary sector. A smooth flow of the complete supply-chain is vital for production of vehicles. While the Government has given the auto sector the permission to resume operations in a phased manner in certain geographies, with certain norms and conditions, it still remains a challenge for the industry to resume operations. This because, while the OEM production unit might be in the green zone, even if one ancillary unit that supplies a small part happens to be in the red zone, will make a component of the vehicle unavailable, thereby making the production process impossible. The need of the hour is for the industry to collaborate together with the local agencies to ensure a smooth supply chain, for the OEMs to commence production and help boost the economic revival of the nation.”