Three Wheeler segment was one of the worst victims of Covid 19 and the sales slumped over 66 percent to 2,16,197 units in FY2021, from 6,37,065 units in FY2020! This is the lowest volume the Three-Wheeler segment has recorded since the financial year 2004!
Three Wheeler Sales Trend in India (past 5 years) –
Covid19 pandemic strained the three-wheeler segment which was already impacted due to the BS6 transition and had recorded a decline in FY2020 too. The pandemic led to the fear of people opting for public transportation and the preference increased for personal mobility. The incessant lockdowns, fall in demand from school children/office-goers, drastic price hikes, and difficulty in financing the vehicle hit the segment badly.
India is the largest market for three-wheeler vehicles in terms of both sales and production across the globe. The advent of safer, faster, and price-effective 4-wheeled counterparts (say Tata Ace) did raise some serious questions on the sustainability of the industry in recent years. Also, the government’s concern over safety and fuel usage has been worrying the manufacturers. However; the Industry continued to flourish until the BS6 implementation and Covid19 crippled the segment.
With a consistent sharp decline in domestic sales by over 66 percent in FY2021, the domestic three-wheeler industry seems to be in a treacherous state, basically due to the COVID-19 fallout on shared mobility.
Three Wheeler Domestic Sales in India for FY2021 -
Bajaj Auto reported one of the highest YoY decline in FY2021 and ended up with volumes of 1,09,304 units in FY21 and was down 70 percent from 3,65,315 units in FY20. The market leader also lost the highest market share in the last financial year.
Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd recorded sales of 62,370 units in FY21 and fell 58.8 percent from FY20. The OEM was able to improve its market share to 29 percent due to a comparatively strong portfolio in the cargo segment and the renewed demand for intra-city movement of small cargo.
Mahindra Three Wheelers sales dipped further to 20,525 units in FY2021 and lost 0.3 percent market share as well. Atul Auto caught up fast and narrowed its gap against M&M.
With the second wave of Covid19, the segment will continue to decline and there is no silver lining expected. Closure of schools, offices will confine people to their homes and the usage of public transportation shall remain scarce. The reduced demand has also crippled the earning of existing three-wheeler owners. The delinquencies have also gone up for three-wheeler financiers/bankers and they have become extremely cautious in new vehicle financing and is impacting demand as well.
Due to the gloom in the Domestic market, manufacturers are pushing their exports significantly and also eyeing new markets for expansion in the overseas market. Companies like Bajaj Auto are exporting more in order to mitigate the losses of the domestic market.
While Bajaj saw a YoY decline of over 70 percent in the domestic market; the export volumes declined just 14 percent. The OEM enhanced its Exports Market Share to 64.7 percent in FY2021!
TVS Motor Company too had a better run in exports when compared to domestic volumes. The OEMs exports decline just over 28 percent in FY2021 v/s FY2020.
Force Motors was able to almost double its export numbers and registered exports of 2,324 units in FY2021.
Three Wheeler segment was one of the early mass adopters of EV technology and Electric Three Wheelers are now easily visible in major cities and even remote markets due to their viability.
The sale of electric vehicles recorded a 20 percent slump in fiscal 2021 largely due to a steep 37 percent crash in electric three-wheelers - the largest segment, during the year. The biggest impact of Covid was on three-wheelers where sales declined from 1,40,683 units in FY2020 to just 88,378 units in FY2021. The share of electric three-wheeler in overall EV volumes, due to the slump in sales, has declined to 65 percent in FY2021 from 83 percent in FY2020.
It means that both ICE and Electric Three-Wheeler segments are in trouble and the path ahead seems to be equally perilous currently.