Domestic car sales fell 9.59 per cent to 18,07,011 units in calendar 2013, down from 19,98,703 units in the previous year, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“The decline in sales in 2013 was the first time after 2002. The negative sentiments have deepened due to the current state of the economy,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

Factors such as high inflation, fuel prices and interest rates had resulted in high cost of ownership and, consequently, affected consumer sentiment, he added.

“We expect some rebound happening in commercial vehicles in the second-half of the year,” Mr. Mathur said, adding that it could have some rub-off effect on passenger cars as well.

New launches

Even though sales were down during April-December 2013, the industry saw the launch of 22 new car models, 40 new variants and 10 model refreshes.

SIAM yet again emphasised the need for a stimulus package for the industry, which, it said, would help in higher economic growth and employment.

In December, domestic car sales declined by 4.52 per cent to 1,32,561 units. On the other hand, total two-wheeler sales during the month grew by 2.32 per cent to 11,63,465 units.

Total sales of commercial vehicles were down by 25.53 per cent to 46,757 units.

Total sale of vehicles across categories registered a decline of 1.21 per cent to 14,31,632 units in December 2013, SIAM said.

More In: Industry | Business