Car sales off track, worst fall in decade | autos | Hindustan Times
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Car sales off track, worst fall in decade

The country’s passenger car, truck and bus makers continue to face increasing difficulty with sales in November falling to the lowest point in nearly a decade, according an industry data, reports HT Correspondent.

autos Updated: Dec 10, 2008 20:31 IST
HT Correspondent

The country’s passenger car, truck and bus makers continue to face increasing difficulty with sales in November falling to the lowest point in nearly a decade, according an industry data.

But industry watchers say that despite the bleak situation, easing lending rates could be pivotal in bringing the industry back to a growth phase.

Carmakers appoint the slump to multiple factors. “Customers come and see, but defer buying as finance is scarce. Plus an early Diwali and the Mumbai terror attacks affected our sales,” said Mayank Pareek, head marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki India.

Sales of trucks and buses, closely linked to industrial activity, slumped by nearly half from a year ago, steeper than a fall of 48.6 per cent in January 1998, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“In our history, all segments have never been down so badly together in a month,” said Dilip Chenoy, director general, SIAM.

Car sales in November fell 19.4 per cent to 83,059 units from 1,03,031 a year ago. Commercial vehicle makers sold 20,637 units, compared with 40,879 units in the same period a year ago. And 4,31,171 motorcycles were sold, down from 540,553 last year.

In a bid to pump prime the economy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut its key short-term lending rate by 250 basis points since mid October to 6.5 per cent.