The commercial vehicle industry, which is facing "challenging" times, is expected to take at least 1-2 years to get back to the 2018-19 sales volume level when the industry crossed the one million sales mark, a top industry official said on Friday.
Domestic CV manufacturers dispatched 10,07,319 units from their factories across the year ended March 31, 2019, as compared to 8,56,916 units in 2017-18, logging a growth of 17.6 per cent.
"If you look at the current volumes, we are down to 70 per cent of the last year's sales. In the fiscal year 2019-20 (til August), it was already 30 per cent down as compared to earlier year," VE Commercial Vehicles MD and CEO Vinod Aggarwal said at the 60th annual convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Aggarwal said that when compared to sales during the April-August period of 2018-19, the industry is down 30 per cent, adding that "within that, the heavy-duty trucks volumes are down by more than 90 per cent compared to the same period of 2018-19".
He said the total heavy truck volumes stood at just 13,000 in the first five months of the financial year, against a "good time" demand of 30,000 trucks.
"We are in a very challenging time and it would take at least 1-2 years to get back to the 2018-19 level," Aggarwal said.
In the first five months, 13,000 heavy-duty trucks were sold. At a good time, this would be around 30,000 trucks, he added.
Terming the $1.5-trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline project as "extremely important" for the economy and the commercial vehicles, Aggarwal said investment in the infrastructure had a lot to do with the health of the CV industry.
"We depend heavily on infrastructure development and economic growth especially for the growth of the CV sector," he said.
Aggarwal also welcomed the change in the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which has increased viability of suppliers in the business.
"It is our request to the government to consider including wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles in the MSME Development Act, which will benefit our dealers and make vehicle retail business viable," he said.