Mahindra expects car sales to take two years to rebound after COVID shock

Vaccination pace crucial: M&M CEO

India’s Mahindra & Mahindra expects it will take at least another two years for car sales to return to their pre-pandemic peaks, but a slow pace of vaccinations could hurt recovery prospects, its chief told Reuters.

Battered by the pandemic in 2020 and an economic slowdown in 2019, passenger vehicle sales in India fell to 2.7 million units in the last fiscal year — their lowest level in six years and well below the peak of 3.4 million units in fiscal year 2019.

Mahindra CEO Anish Shah said sales would rebound by fiscal year 2023 if a majority of the population is inoculated and new COVID-19 cases ease, helping the economy recover.

“Getting back to full normal is going to depend onvaccinations … (else) we will always have the fear of the next wave coming in and disrupting things again,” said Mr. Shah.

India has recorded 28 million cases so far, second only to the U.S. Yet, only about 3% of 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated.

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