At a time when discounts rain, luring the customers to the auto show rooms, most showrooms have worn a deserted look.

The ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation has forced banks to close intermittently slowing down car sales.

Car dealers who are already reeling under sluggish sales hoped that the festival season late this year would usher in some good sales, but that was not to be.

“Car sales have dropped by 20-30 per cent this season and though we are offering a slew of discounts, there are few takers,’’ said Srikanth, Manager of Jayalakshmi Automotives, authorized Maruti dealer in Guntur.

With the banks being closed due to strike, car buyers are finding it difficult to get bank finance.

Most car buyers opt for bank loans and though the banks have slightly reduced the bank lending rates for automobiles, few customers are turning up.

In some cases, the release of new models has piled on the waiting period and affected the sale of existing models.

“We are experiencing a 15-20 per cent drop in sales. This could be worst year in recent times for auto sales. We hope that sales of petrol cars will pick up towards the end of the year as companies offer good discounts,’’ said a sales manager of Hyundai Show Room.

Usually, on an average the dealers sell about 50 cars in a month with a slightly higher sale in festival season.

``We are short by 30 per cent of the target during the season. Most of the new dealers are struggling to reach targets,’’ another sales manager said.

Strike slows down car sales by 20-30 per cent