India's passenger vehicles' sales slumped by 31% in July

13 Août, 2019, 16:29 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • More car buyers opting for high-end models with safety feature accessories

The sales report highlighted that passenger vehicle sales in the country declined for the ninth month in a row amid a contraction across segments as the "auto industry downturn" deepened.

Sales of passenger vehicles to auto dealers plunged 30.9% to 200,790 in July, the ninth straight month of declines, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed.

A quick glance at the sales statistics for the past 12 months reveal how overall sales have plunged, month on month. Last month, domestic auto sales were down 35.95 per cent at 1,22,956 units as against 1,91,979 units in July 2018. In July 2019 too, auto sales are 35.95 percent down YoY, which is not far from that dismal figure almost two decades ago.

The drop in sales is the worst since December 2000, when the industry sold a fifth of the vehicles it sells now.

The overall sales for the segment were reported at 290,931 units in the same month previous year.

"The data shows urgent need for a revival package from the government", SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said. "The industry is doing everything possible to increase sales but it needs government support to prevent the crisis from worsening". Commercial vehicle sales were down 25.71 per cent to 56,866 units in July as compared with 76,545 units in July 2018.

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While SIAM has proposed an overall GST reduction to be brought on vehicles of all segments, rollout of the scrappage policy will give a push to new vehicle sales.

Reuters reported last week that companies in the sector - which includes manufacturers, auto parts makers and dealerships - have so far cut as many as 350,000 jobs. "The more the industry goes down, more hard it would become for it to come up", Mathur said.

The automotive industry in India which employs over 37 million people in direct and indirect roles and contributes over 49 percent to the country's manufacturing GDP, is facing an onerous situation, so much so that even the past slowdowns of 2008-2009 and 2013-2014 didn't see all the segments falling off the cliff together. Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) also witnessed 10.28 per cent decrease at 39,010 units, while Mahindra & Mahindra posted a fall of 14.74 per cent at 16,830 units in during the month.

In PV segment, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted 36.71 per cent decline in its July sales at 96,478 units. Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 18.71% to 18,25,148 units from 22,45,223 units in July 2018, it added.

Similarly, Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw it sales slump by 15.72 per cent at 2,08,489 units in July.

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