Stats and Facts Related to Cars Sold in India 2020

The Covid year 2020 was challenging for every industry that possibly exists in this world, as it was for the automobile industry. India underwent the biggest lockdown of any democracy globally, and all of its industries and economy suffered accordingly.

The auto industry, which makes a significant part of the country’s economy, faced inevitable backlashes as well. Consequently, a drop was recorded in the number of cars sold in India in 2020.

The reasons were obvious, and the industry used this downtime to reconstruct its structure and plans and to reskill its staff. After the dip that we saw in the car sales in India, 2020, 2021 is considered to be a year of hope and revival for the auto industry.

We shall be discussing the facts and stats during this downtime faced by the car market in India in 2020.

Car sold statistics 2020

The number of car sales in India 2020 was relatively lower than its 2019 counterpart. Despite all the struggle, the car market in India managed to not come to a complete standstill. Although slower, the industry kept moving forward with whatever resources they could muster.

The car sold statistics 2020 pinpointed the following facts:

  • The sale of passenger cars dropped from about 227 thousand units in May 2019 to just about 33.5 thousand units in May 2020.
  • A substantial decrease in the import of car parts was observed due to trade restrictions. India imports nearly 29% of its total auto parts from China.
  • The average sales of luxury cars were noted to cross 60,000 units and to be increasing by 20% every year.
  • Most of the four-wheeler segments struggled to keep up their sales in 2020. However, the SUV segment did comparatively well. A total of about 707 thousand units of SUV cars were sold in India in 2020.
  • The luxury car segment saw an all-time low record in sales since 2010, with just over 21 thousand units sold in India in 2020.

The year 2020 also saw the establishment of the electric cars segment in India. With Elon Musk confirming his intentions of bringing Tesla to India, investors all around the world started paying even more attention to the Indian car market.

  • A total number of 156 thousand electric vehicles were sold in the year 2020.
  • Out of this, a total of 152 thousand EVs were two-wheelers, 34 thousand cars, and 600 buses.
  • The EV segment grew in terms of the number of units sold compared to the 130 thousand units sold in 2019.
  • The premium segment in the EV cars was finally being accepted, starting from the second half of 2020.
  • According to predictions, electric vehicles are expected to make a huge impact on India by the year 2021.

The year 2020 also saw the strong emergence of e-commerce in the automobile sector. Cars were not only sold in the offline showrooms but also on the online marketplace through various platforms. Most of the above vehicle sold facts were only possible due to the online presence of the car market.

A new trend was also noticed where the buyers preferred used cars over new ones. The stigma surrounding the purchase of used cars was finally blown away, and people started accepting the advantages of getting a second-hand car.

The new-like condition of cars in nearly 70% of their original price attracted a large segment of the Indian society. This mainly included the youngsters and the middle class, making up about 60% of the total population in India. Many online and offline platforms came up to support the selling and buying of used cars.

Factors that affected the number of cars sold in India in 2020

Several factors worked together to give the car sold facts in India that we found above. Though most of them affected the sales of cars negatively, some worked towards its upliftment as well. The significant factors that influenced the car sales in India 2020:

  • The growing demand for cars by the young and the middle class boosted the car industry. The number of cars sold in India in 2020 was mostly to this segment of the Indian society.
  • The virus resulted in a nationwide lockdown that majorly affected the production units. The manufacturing of cars came to a breakdown owing to the lack of auto parts and labor. The entire automobile industry suffered losses of USD 328 million in turnover per day and lost about 3.5 lakh jobs.
  • Low Information and Communication Technology (ICT) adoption was another reason for the slowdown of the car market in India. The Indian automobile sector is unable to adopt the ICT as compared with international standards.
  • The people becoming comfortable with the concept of e-commerce in automobiles and buying second-hand cars helped the car industry survive.

What’s next?

The year 2021 is expected to help the car industry recover from its losses with the emergence of new technologies. Once the world is done with the Covid situation, a blast in the sales of cars is expected, especially in the affordable cars segment. This is due to the preference for personal cars over shared vehicles for hygiene reasons. This was evident enough from the rise in the number of cars sold in India after the government announced the availability of the Covid vaccine.

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In January 2021 alone, a huge increase in the number of car sales was recorded. As compared to the 33 thousand units sold in May 2020, the number of units of cars sold was about 276 thousand in January 2021.


The coming year is expected to take away all the gloom faced by 2020. With the explosion of electric vehicles and autonomous cars, the Indian automobile industry is expected to reach new heights. The losses were huge and may take a while to get out from. However, the industry is sure to get back to providing employment as soon as the lockdown is lifted.

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