Domestic car sales declined for the seventh straight month in May, down 12.26%, as the worst stretch of consecutive monthly decline continued unabated. With no hope for growth likely in the near future, the industry is worried there may be large scale lay offs in the sector soon.
“These are worrying times for the industry,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). “So far we have not received any specific information of people being laid off but the situation is such that it may have started or will start soon. The first to be affected will be the contract and temporary workers, mostly in component suppliers.
Even the original equipment manufacturers may follow suit if the demand for cars continued to be low.”
During May, market leader Maruti Suzuki India registered 8.25% decline in domestic sales at 66,342 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India posted a marginal increase of 0.35% at 32,052 units, while Tata Motors saw its sales dip by 48.60% to 8,927 units.
Sales of passenger vehicles that includes SUVs and vans, also declined 9% to 201,437 units as SUVs sales growth slowed due to the increase in excise duties during the budget. Commercial vehicles registered a 10.6% decline in sales with sales of heavy trucks and buses declining for the 15th straight month.
A 13% growth in scooter sales saved the blushes for the two-wheeler industry, which grew by 1.13% during the month. That, however, was not enough for overall sales that declined 0.93% during the period.
Motorcycle sales declined 0.72% to 8,81,288 units from 8,87,646 units in year-ago month. Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted a decline of 2.11% in its sales at 4,92,044 units. Rival Bajaj Auto, saw its bike sales grow 2.6% at 2,12,129 units, while that of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) was down 2.79% to 85,866 units during the month