Auto sales plunge by over 22 pc in September, slide continues for 11th straight month: SIAM

New Delhi: Domestic vehicle sales across all categories declined to 20,04,932 units during September, marking a fall of 22.41 per cent from 25,84,062 units in the year-ago period, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed on Friday.

Domestic passenger vehicle sales dropped by 23.69 per cent to 2,23,317 units from 2,92,660 units in September last year, making it the 11th consecutive month of plunging vehicle sales in the country.

Domestic car sales were down by 33.4 per cent to 1,31,281 units last month as against 1,97,124 units in September last year, the data showed.

Motorcycle sales declined by 23.29 per cent to 10,43,624 units as against 13,60,415 units a year earlier. Overall two-wheeler sales in September declined by 22.09 per cent to 16,56,774 units compared to 21,26,445 units in the year-ago month.

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 39.06 per cent to 58,419 units in September as compared with 95,870 units in the same period of last year, SIAM said.

The data showed a marginal uptick of 0.68 per cent in vehicle exports across all categories to 417,232 units from 414,428 units in the same period.

Earlier this month, the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India reported a 24.4 per cent decline in sales at 122,640 units last month compared to 162,290 units in September last year.

Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland said its sales fell 27 per cent last month to 68,546 units versus 94,087 in September 2018.

Eicher Motors said its commercial vehicle sales in September dropped sharply by 43.2 per cent to 3,784 units compared to 6,663 units in the same month last year.

Two- and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto reported a 35 per cent decline in domestic motorcycle sales at 177,348 units compared to 273,029 units in the same month a year ago.

Many auto manufacturers have declared some days as 'no-production days' to cope up with rising unsold inventory.

Some have even reported job losses due to falling sales stemming from a severe liquidity crunch in the non-banking financial sector that 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. While that has not happened, the government has reduced the corporate tax rate in a bid to boost private investments and spur economic growth.

Sitharaman said in Pune on Friday: "I have been interacting with the automobile sector. Consumer demand has not revived. If they want anything particular, they can always talk to me."

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