There were no signs of a let-up in the slowdown in demand for cars in the domestic market in the new year as most car manufacturers registered stagnant sales in January.
The industry is now waiting for some incentives in the upcoming budget to spur demand.
Market leaders Maruti and Hyundai registered a growth of just 2% and 1.2%, respectively, last month over the same period in the previous year but it was Tata Motors, Toyota, General Motors and Ford that bore the brunt.
Despite the launch of the new Safari Storme and three other refreshes in the recent past, Tata suffered a steep 56% dip in sales.
Ford and Toyota saw sales decline by 33.6% and 23.4%, respectively. For General Motors, the decline was 8%.
"The market is still witnessing a slowdown, especially the passenger car segment. The prospects for the second half of 2013 look better," said Sandeep Singh, deputy MD and chief operating officer, marketing and commercial.
"The repo rate cut is a welcome step. With the budget round the corner we are looking for some more measures to bring about positive growth."
Three companies that ducked the overall negative sentiment were utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra, Honda Cars India and Renault.
Robust demand for its SUVs saw M&M grow 33%, while Honda rebounded from a crisis ridden 2012 with a 205% jump in sales.
France's Renault too saw a 455% sales surge as compact SUV Duster brought in new customers.