Automobile sales plunge over 31 pc in August, slide continues for 10th straight month: SIAM


Domestic passenger vehicle sales skidded for the 10th consecutive month, falling from 287,198 units in August last year to 196,524 units last month and registering a 31.57 per cent decline.

Domestic car sales were down 41.09 per cent to 115,957 units compared to 196,847 units in August 2018, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday.

Motorcycle sales last month declined 22.33 per cent to 937,486 units as against 1,207,005 units a year earlier. Total two-wheeler sales in August declined 22.24 per cent to 1,514,196 units compared to 1,947,304 units in the year-ago month.

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 38.71 per cent to 51,897 units in August, SIAM said. Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 23.55 per cent to 1,821,490 units from 2,382,436 units in August 2018, it added.

Medium and heavy commercial vehicles sales were down 54.3 per cent at 15,573 units year-on-year while light commercial vehicles sales down 28.2 per cent at 36,324 units in the year-ago period.

The automobile industry in India is undergoing a crippling slump with nearly all manufacturers report a slowdown in sales and job losses due to subdued consumer sentiment amid an economic slowdown.

The slowdown in auto sales also stems from a severe liquidity crunch in the non-banking financial sector which has dried up lines of credit to both auto dealers and potential car buyers.

The auto industry accounts for nearly half of India’s manufacturing output and employs over 3.5 crore people directly and indirectly. Representatives of major automobile manufacturers have urged Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to lower the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.

On August 23, Sitharaman announced that government departments will be allowed to buy new vehicles, automobiles purchased till March 31 next year can avail the benefit of additional depreciation of 15 per cent with total depreciation up to 30 per cent, and BS-IV vehicles bought till March 31 next year will remain operational for their entire registration period.

However, she has said that the GST Council will take a call on the possibility of lowering the GST.

Maruti Suzuki recently observed two days as ‘no production days’ in view of inventory pile-up. On Monday, Ashok Leyland announced a series of non-working days.

A statement issued by the company said there will be 16 non-working days at its plant in Ennore, 5 at Hosur, 10 each at Alwar and Bhandara and 18 at Pantnagar.

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