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Sales slide, gloom deepens

autos Updated: Jul 02, 2012 21:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The gloom prevailing over the domestic automotive industry deepened last month with most major car makers registering steep decline in sales as consumers continued to stay away from showrooms. Even the heavy discounts on offer could not spur demand.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki India ducked the trend with a 19.3% growth in June, but it was helped by the low base of last year when a labour unrest had crippled production at its Manesar factory.

That strike lingered on till October and would ensure Maruti would continue to register healthy growth over the next few months. In absolute numbers, Maruti sold over 6% less cars in June than in May, an ominous sign for the industry.

While arch rival Hyundai’s sales were almost flat at nearly 30,500 units, homegrown Tata Motors registered a decline of over 21%. Ford and GM saw an identical near 11% decline in sales.

“The general inflationary trend, high fuel prices, interest rates that are still high are keeping sentiment low,” said Arvind Saxena, director (marketing and sales), Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Notable exceptions were diesel heavy firms such as Toyota and Mahindra and Mahindra. Not surprisingly, they were the only ones with an optimistic outlook for the future.