COVID-19 Impact: Nagaland’s vehicle registrations down by 44.67% in 2020

March-August 2020 period most hit; robust recovery in last 4 months 

Morung Express News
Dimapur | January 13  

The number of vehicle registration decreased by nearly 45% in 2020 as compared to 2019 reflecting the adverse impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the  automobile sector seen across India.  

As per the VAHAN Dashboard, based on regional transport offices in Nagaland, a total of 16,214 vehicles were registered in 2020, as against 29,306 in 2019, denoting a 44.67% decrease. 

VAHAN Dashboard, an online data repository of all vehicles registration and other related issues in the country, was developed the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and maintained by the Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH).

As reported in the earlier analysis, after falling drastically in the first seven-month of 2020, particularly from April to July, reflecting an adverse impact of COVID-19 on the automobile sector, vehicle registrations gathered some momentum in August and the pace continued throughout the year.

Lockdown blues, other impacts 

The imposition of Phase 1 (25 March – 14 April) lockdown had immediate impact with registration witnessing a huge fall from 2,704 in March to 978 in April. 

The low trend continued for the next three months with 208 in May and 258 in June and the lowest for this year was in July with just 10 vehicles. 

With the gradual easing of the lockdown thereafter, registrations picked up with 690 vehicle registrations in August. 

In September, it gathered pace and shot up to 1,752. Though there was a marginal fall in October to 1,449, it further increased to 1,990 in November, and ended the year with 1,391 in December. (See graph)

However, the lockdown must not be the only factor. The general economic slowdown in India since 2019 also seems to be a contributing factor.  

For instance, while the year 2018 saw the highest vehicle registration in Nagaland at 33,923, it declined by 13.61% in 2019 to 29,306. 

There were 28,382 vehicle registrations in 2017, as per the VAHAN Dashboard accessed on January 11. 

Overall in India, vehicle registration decreased from 2.14 crore in 2019 to 1.63 crore in 2020, reflecting a 23.75% decrease.

The downward trend continued with registrations falling from 2.27 crore in 2018 to 2.14 crore in 2019. There was an 8.88% increase from 2017 to 2018. (See table)

Most preferred ‘Maker’, bucking the trend 

According to the Dashboard, out of 16,214 vehicles registered in Nagaland in 2020, Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) topped the list with 5,561, followed by two wheeler (Non-Transport)- 4,675 and Heavy Good Vehicle (HGV)- 4,158. 

The most preferred original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or ‘Maker,’ Maruti Suzuki India Ltd led in terms of overall registrations with 3,235 vehicles followed by Tata Motors Ltd at 3,118 and Mahindra & Mahindra Limited at 1,404.

In two/three wheelers segment, Hero Motocorp Ltd led the pack with 1,178 registration, followed by Honda Motorcycle and  Scooter India (P) Ltd (1,065) and TVS Motor Company Ltd (914). 

Strictly analyzing on the basis of registration, some relatively ‘high-end’ vehicles seemed to be bucking the lockdown blues and their registrations’ were higher than last year.    

One distinctive trend buster was Isuzu Motors India Pvt Ltd, a dominant player in “commercial vehicle, utility vehicle and diesel engine segments” with the popular ‘adventure utility vehicle.’ 

According to the VAHAN Dashboard, in 2020, there were 66 vehicle registrations under the company, an over 100% increase against a total registered of 31 last year.

Among others, it offers the ‘high-end’ sport utility vehicle (SUV) with price tag starting at over Rs 15 lakh and made first entry into the Dashboard with 3 registrations in 2018 and is gaining popularity since then. 

However, it should be noted that Isuzu might have seen higher registration as it is the preferred vehicles of the newly Special Task Force (STF) of Nagaland. 

In addition, some ‘high-end’ vehicles also bucked the trend. 

Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd was back on the board with 3 registrations in 2020 after a drought year in 2019.  It was sort of ‘reverting’ to normal trend as there were 4 registrations in 2018; 2 in 2017 and 4 in 2016. 

Kia Motors India Pvt Ltd whose portfolios range start at upward of Rs 6.71 to nearly 34 lakh, also saw ‘robust’ growth from 27 in 2019 to 73 in 2020.  However, this seems to be more of novelty purchase rather than anything as the Korean major increases its footprint in India. 

Same was the case for MG Motor India Pvt Ltd, whose cheapest model is upward of Rs 10 lakh. There were 10 registrations in Nagaland in 2020.  Registration of Jaguar Land Rover India Limited, however, decreased from 3 last year to 2 in 2020.