Car sales see steepest fall in eight years
April sales down 17% as weak consumer sentiment, uncertainty over polls take toll
New Delhi: Passenger vehicle sales in India dropped by 17.07 per cent in April, the steepest fall since October 2011, as weak customer sentiment led by liquidity crunch, uncertainty revolving elections and high product prices hit sales.
The domestic sales declined for a sixth straight month in April to 2,47,541 units against 2,98,504 units in the year-ago month.
It is the worst dip in PV sales since October 2011 when sales had dropped by 19.87 per cent.
All major segments, including two-wheelers and commercial vehicles, witnessed a decline in sales in April, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Domestic car sales declined 19.93 per cent to 1,60,279 units last month compared to 2,00,183 in April 2018.
Motorcycle sales declined 11.81 per cent to 10,84,811 units last month as against 12,30,046 units in the year-ago month.
Total two-wheeler sales in April declined 16.36 per cent to 16,38,388 units compared to 19,58,761 units in the year-ago month.
Similarly, commercial vehicle sales were down 5.98 per cent to 68,680 units in April.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 15.93 per cent to 20,01,096 units from 23,80,294 units in April 2018, SIAM said.
"In the last ten years, we have not seen anything like this when all the segments are down.
The start of the new financial year has not turned out to be very good," SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told reporters here.
Although there is some inventory correction taking place, negative factors like liquidity crunch and enhanced insurance costs continue to impact sales, he added.
"It is not only in the auto sector, but even FMCG segment is also witnessing a slowdown. Discretionary spendings are being held up.
Maybe things will improve after the election results are over and a stable government is formed. We expect things to get better in the second half," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.
He, however, said retail sales were better than wholesales in April.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) posted a 19.61 per cent decline in its PV sales at 1,31,385 units in April.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) also reported a 10.12 per cent dip at 42,005 units.
Homegrown utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra saw an 8.52 per cent decline in its PV sales at 19,966 units last month.
In the two-wheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp's bike sales last month were down 12.10 per cent at 5,34,161 units.
Rival Bajaj Auto, however, posted a growth rate of 2.55 per cent at 2,05,875 units last month.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's bike sales stood at 1,57,569 units, down 25.77 per cent.