Car sales continue to take downhill course

Car sales declined by 7.4 per cent in July, for a record ninth month in a row, to 1,31,163 units, according to the latest data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Domestic passenger car sales stood at 1,41,646 units in the same month of 2012.

“The numbers are still quiet low. We are seeing continuous negative growth.

“This is not a good news for the auto industry as well as the economy,” SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen said.

The numbers showed that sale of heavy and medium commercial vehicles dipped for the 17th month in succession.

While total sales of commercial vehicles dropped by 14.93 per cent to 55,301 units, heavy and medium commercial vehicles (M&HCV) sales were down 19.88 per cent at 18,611 units.

The numbers have also raised concerns over downsizing in the industry. While Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has already asked some of its temporary workers at the diesel engine plant at Manesar to go on indefinite leave, Toyota Kirloskar

Motor also confirmed that it was “currently not renewing contracts of the temporary employees”, without specifying details.

Total sales of vehicles across categories registered a decline of 2.08 per cent at 14,15,102 units in July 2013 against 14,45,112 units in the same month in 2012.

The industry body has also sought stimulus package from the government to help give some impetus to the sector, including reduction in excise duty, fleet modernisation and put an end to ban on new government vehicle purchase that has been on since May last year.

Even the utility vehicle (UV) segment, which has done well in earlier months, has been hurt by the hike in excise duty to 30 per cent.

In July, the segment saw a decline of 17.53 per cent at 37,010 units.

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