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Car sales stay negative for second year running

business Updated: Apr 12, 2014 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
passenger car sales

Domestic passenger car sales in India fell for the second straight year in 2013-14, completely deflating what was once among the fastest growing car markets in the world.

Car sales fell by 4.65% during the year as a sluggish economy, high fuel costs, interest rates and stubborn inflation kept consumers away from showrooms. The prolonged slowdown led to factories operating at low levels and an estimated loss of around 150,000 jobs across the sector.

"Last year was one of the most difficult years for the industry. The business environment was tough due to low growth of economy, high interest rates, fuel prices and low sentiments," said Vikram Kirloskar, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, domestic car sales stood at 17,86,899 units, compared to 18,74,055 units sold in fiscal year 2012-13 — when sales had fallen by 6.69% compared to the previous year.

"We have not done a calculation of how many jobs were cut, but I feel across the entire value chain, from raw materials to dealerships, it could be 100-150,000 jobs," Kirloskar said.

Overall sales grew by 3.53%, thanks largely to the two-wheeler segment, which grew by 7.31%. Trucks and buses suffered the most, declining by 20.23% at 6,32,738 units as against 7,93,211 units sold in the previous fiscal.