Continuing the downward spiral for a record seventh consecutive month in May, car sales declined 12.26 per cent as slowdown in the economy pulled down demand.

According to the latest data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales in May stood at 1,43,216 units as against 1,63,222 units in the same month of 2012.

"This is the longest stretch of consecutive car sales decline witnessed ever. Even during the 2008-09 downturn, car sales dipped for few months and recovered back strongly. These are worrying times for the Indian automobile industry," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.

He added that factors such as overall economic slowdown, high inflation and interest rates and low consumer sentiment were affecting demand for cars. Further, the industry body said that the slump in the automobile industry might result loss of jobs.

“So far we have not received any specific information of people being laid off but the situation is such that it may have started or will start soon," he said.

In May, market leader Maruti Suzuki India registered 8.25 per cent decline in domestic sales at 66,342 units. Tata Motors saw its sales dip by 48.60 per cent to 8,927 units.

Hyundai Motor India posted a marginal increase of 0.35 per cent at 32,052 units. Honda Cars India posted 9.31 per cent increase in sales at 11,274 units in May on the back of its newly-launched compact sedan Amaze.

Motorcycles

According to SIAM, in May, motorcycle sales declined by 0.72 per cent to 8,81,288 units from 8,87,646 units in the year-ago month. Hero MotoCorp posted a decline of 2.11 per cent in sales at 4,92,044 units. Bajaj Auto bike sales grew by 2.6 per cent to 2,12,129 units. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) sales were down by 2.79 per cent to 85,866 units during the month. Scooter sales, however, were in the positive territory in May, growing by 13.06 per cent at 2,65,892 units as against 2,35,185 units in the same month last year, SIAM said.

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