Tribune News Service
Gurugram, May 22
While the auto industry may have resumed manufacturing, the retail market continues to be in a slump. In an unprecedented event, Gurugram registered zero bookings or sale of automobiles during April, which otherwise registers a spike in sales owing to Navratri.
The car buyers have postponed their delivery date and the bike and car dealers have not seen a single booking for the past two months.
Besides, people who had made advanced bookings for delivery in May, have also postponed the delivery while some have even requested cancellation owing to COVID-19 fears.
The auto retail outlets had pinned high hopes on lockdown 4.0 for a rush of bookings following two months of abrupt pause. They went ahead starting operations with around 50 per cent staff with elaborate measures such as PPE kits for staff and sanitisation twice a day.
However, nobody turned up and those, who made bookings, too, have postponed same till Diwali.
The relaxation in the lockdown has failed to induce much trust in buyers currently as they are terrified by the increasing numbers of COVID cases.
In a showroom of Bajaj, where 15 to 20 bikes were sold every day during April, not even a single query has been made.
“We have been open since May, 18 but have not sold a single bike. People are scared and making general enquiries on call but nobody is coming. The slump has hit us hard,” said Praveen Kumar, manager of Bajaj showroom.
On the other hand, car agencies are also waiting for customers. In normal days, more than five cars were sold per day.
“We restarted with all safety measures in the showroom but not a single customer has visited us. Those, who booked their cars before the lockdown, also don’t want delivery now. The situation of the auto market is very bad and reopening costs have doubled our losses,” said Balbir Singh, a senior executive of Maruti agency Prem motors.
Meanwhile, the agencies are also facing a lack of mechanical staff as many migrants have gone to their native places. This has majorly hit vehicle servicing.
The auto industries namely Maruti, Hero and Honda have started manufacturing hoping for the retail chain to get smooth soon.