Historic fall in India vehicles sales enters 11th month

Factory. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  Despite a 135 basis point rate cut since February and a number of measures announced by the Central government, including a sharp corporate tax cut, domestic vehicle sales plummeted for the 11th straight month in September.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data released on Friday showed that total commercial vehicle sales — a proxy for the economy’s commercial health — steeply fell by 39 per cent to 58,419 units in September.

Rating agency ICRA had, earlier this month, said its outlook on the domestic commercial vehicle sector was negative, considering the sharp correction in vehicle sales amid slowing economic growth, overcapacity and tight financing environment.

Signs that the customers were still away from showrooms was clearly visible in passenger vehicles sales data which witnessed a decline of 23.69 per cent to 223,317 units this September.

Passenger cars sales witnessed de-growth of of 33.4 per cent to 131,281 units. In August sales were down 41 per cent.

SIAM, President, Rajan Wadhera told reporters that the festive season retail sales that are monitored on a regular basis is “good” but avoided giving any sales forecast.

“The Navaratri sale has also been good and if we compare it to the sales from last year, the sale has been nearly 10-12 per cent better,” he said.

Wadera stressed that owing to number of government steps and ongoing festive season, the consumer sentiments have improved. Consumer confidence, the Reserve Bank of Indian showed, dipped to six-year low in September.

Overall domestic automobile sales fell 22.41 per cent in September 2019. Two wheeler sales – often tracked to analyse the rural markets health – was also down 22.09 per cent.

Three-wheeler sales declined by 6.66 percent in April-September 2019 over the same period last year. Within three-wheelers, passenger carrier sales registered a de-growth of 6.37 percent and that of goods carriers declined by 7.98 percent in April-September 2019 over April-September 2018.

In the two-wheeler segment, sales registered a de-growth of 16.18 percent in April-September 2019 over April-September 2018 while in the segment, scooters, motorcycles and mopeds declined by 16.94 per cent, 15.24 per cent and 25.33 per cent, respectively, in April-September 2019 over the comparable period last year.

Several auto markers were forced to announce production cuts and slash workforce in order to cut losses.