Domestic car sales fell for the straight sixth month in in April, declining by 10.4% during the month over last year, marking the longest stretch of decline since the collection of sales data in 1997-98.
Worse, the stretch is likely to continue for at least the next 3 months as industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) expects a turnaround only near the festive season in September.
“Car sales have been falling in India since November. We have never witnessed such a long consecutive decline in car sales since data has been analysed by SIAM,” said Sugato Sen, deputy director-general, SIAM. “Weak consumer sentiment is affecting sales. The Budget hasn’t done anything to improve market sentiments.”
The last longest stretch of fall in car sales was between the five months in March and July 2002.
Domestic car sales accounted for 1,50,789 units in April (see graphic). Even utility vehicle sales grew just 4% during the month as the “SUV tax” in the budget impacted the segment.