New Delhi, Oct. 8: Car sales slumped 4.67 per cent in the first half of the year, the biggest fall in more than a decade. Such a big decline was last seen in the first half of 2002-03, when sales crashed almost 7 per cent.
Sales rose a minute 0.73 per cent to 1,56,018 units in September from 1,54,884 in the same month in 2012. Exports grew 18 per cent to 53,786 units in September from 45,580 in the same month last year.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) said it was unlikely that sales would post a positive growth this fiscal.
“It is unlikely for car sales to post positive growth this fiscal unless something really nice happens in the festive season. I will be really happy if there is flat or even a slight positive growth this fiscal,” Siam president Vikram Kirloskar said.
All companies have drastically reduced production as they are finding it difficult to clear existing inventory. Production of passenger vehicles fell 2.3 per cent to 15,23,654 units in the first half against 15,59,592 units in the year-ago period.
“Companies are not manufacturing passenger vehicle to its full capacity as sales have slumped because of consistently high vehicle finance rates, a slowing economy and the absence of any fiscal stimulus specific to the automobile industry despite repeated requests. It makes it difficult to predict if the remaining six months of 2013-14 will be any better,” added Kirloskar.
He said a jump in exports had mitigated the industry’s problems to an extent.
Motorcycle sales grew 17.44 per cent in September to 8,85,117 units from 7,53,693 units a year earlier on the back of good monsoon and the festive sales, Siam said.