Domestic passenger car sales fell 25.71 per cent to 1,58,513 units in February this year, the steepest decline in about 12 years, mainly due to rising fuel prices. This is against 2,13,362 units sold in the same month of 2012.
“The decline in car sales in February is the biggest since December 2000, when car sales declined by 39.8 per cent,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Deputy Director-General Sugato Sen said.
Car sales were down 4.6 per cent in the first 11 months of the fiscal year ending in March, SIAM said, adding the sales growth was likely to be negative in the current fiscal, which would be the first annual decline since 2002-03.
“The overall sentiment is down. Inflation is hurting people’s purse, petrol and diesel prices are going up. The high rate of interest is also affecting the demand,” Mr. Sen said.
SIAM had, last month, cut its car sales growth forecast for the financial year to 0-1 per cent. It had initially forecast a growth of 10-12 per cent for the year.
Maruti Suzuki India posted a decline of 10.89 per cent at 83,865 units in sales during the month, while Hyundai Motor India sales declined by 7.42 per cent to 33,936 units. Tata Motors’ domestic sales tumbled by over three-fold to 7,769 units in the month under review.
Mr. Sen said the industry was at a lower level and there was a decline in sales across all segments such as passenger cars, two-wheelers and luxury cars. However, the industry body expected sales to pick up in the second quarter of 2013-14, he added.
Total two-wheeler sales declined by 2.77 per cent to 11,12,289 units from 11,43,982 units. However, scooter sales were in the positive territory, a growth of 2.55 per cent, at 2,43,346 units against 2,37,306 units. Total sales of commercial vehicles declined by 11.06 per cent to 68,388 units from 76,891 units.