Along expected lines, passenger vehicle sales fell 51% in March on a YOY basis as auto makers shut factories for several days to comply with government directives aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. As per SIAM data, just about 143,014 vehicles were sold in March and that too is based on factory despatches not on actual sales. Sale of passenger cars fell 52% YOY to 85,229 vehicles, while the SUV segment posted a 45% y-o-y decline to 51,569 units. Among the top 2 producers, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motors reported a fall in sales of 47% and 41% respectively. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) recorded 88% drop, while sales at Tata Motors Ltd fell 68% in March. Most auto companies started to close plants in the last two weeks due to the government directive and hence may not be strictly comparable. However, it has served to highlight the already existing plight of these auto companies. In fact, several auto companies had also planned lower production during the month to adjust to the shift to the new Bharat Stage-VI emission norms from 1 April. With the three-week national lockdown which runs through Tuesday, set to be extended in various parts of India, sales are likely to be hit in April as well.