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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

‘When will govt open its eyes?’ Priyanka Gandhi on auto sector crisis

The auto industry suffered its worst-ever monthly sales performance in August. Passenger vehicle sales were down 31.57% year-on-year to 196,524 units in August, passenger car sales slipped to 41.09% to 115,957 units.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2019 10:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)
         

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi trained her guns on the government on Tuesday over the economic slowdown and the crisis faced by the auto industry.

“The economy is falling into a deep abyss of recession. A sword is hanging on the livelihood of millions of Indians. The decline in the auto sector is a sign of negative growth in production-transportation and the declining confidence of the market. When will the government open its eyes?” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

The auto industry suffered its worst-ever monthly sales performance in August. Passenger vehicle sales were down 31.57% year-on-year to 196,524 units in August, passenger car sales slipped to 41.09% to 115,957 units, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data.

Watch: Global economy, demand & supply issues: Union Minister Gadkari on auto slump

 

This is the worst-ever fall for both the categories since SIAM started recording the data in 1997-98. Two-wheeler sales fell 22% to 1.5 million units while truck and bus sales dropped 39%.

A slowing economy, increase in ownership costs such as insurance, and uncertainty over the policy moves of the central government mean that people aren’t going for buying vehicles.

Also read:Of Carterpuri and a slump in the car market

On Monday, Ashok Leyland declared production holidays at its various plants across the country for September. Last week, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki had suspended production at its Gurugram and Manesar plants for two days, the first time the auto major has closed both plants simultaneously.

Thousands have already lost their jobs due to the deepening crisis. Reuters reported that automakers, parts manufacturers and dealers have laid off about 350,000 workers since April. Automakers have already warned the government of more job cuts if it does not intervene through a reduction in GST from 28% to 18%.

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari assured said automakers that there were no plans to ban conventional petrol and diesel vehicles while the government would consider reducing taxes on hybrid vehicles to spur sales. The minister said auto sector is witnessing a slowdown due to the global economic factors.

The slowdown in the auto industry has led several companies to freeze their investment plans towards either building new factories or expanding existing facilities.

First Published: Sep 10, 2019 10:22 IST

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