Sale of domestic vehicles continued its downward trend in September even though the numbers improved compared to the month before, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday. But manufacturers said they were hopeful of buyers returning to the market in the ongoing festive season.
In September, Maruti Suzuki sold 1.1 lakh domestic cars, a drop of 27% from same month last year. The major decline was in the sale of mid-sized cars while the utility vehicle segment witnessed only a marginal 0.5% decline.
Hyundai Motor India reported a 14.8% drop in sales at 40,705 units while Honda Cars India sold 9,301 units – a drop of 37%. Toyota Kirloskar’s car sales reported a 18.5% drop at 10,203 units. Tata Motors’ sales in domestic market dropped nearly 50% to 32,376 units from 64,598 units a year ago.
Bajaj Auto reported a 35% slide in motorcycle sale. Honda2Wheelers India, the second-largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, also reported a 12.5% drop in domestic sales. Commercial truck maker Ashok Leyland sold 4,035 units of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in September – a 69% decline.
“The consumer sentiment continued to be subdued in September which has reflected in the sales slowdown in the industry,” N Raja, the deputy managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, told The Indian Express. He added that demand was likely to revive during Navratri and Diwali.
According to Rajesh Goel, Honda Cars India’s senior vice president and director for sales and marketing, the sale figures in September are a positive sign. “We hope the consumer sentiment further improves during the ongoing festive season and helps the sales momentum,” he said.
Top car manufacturers such as Maruti Suzuki India and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd have temporarily closed some factories to trim mounting stocks at dealerships and factories because of weak retail demand. Some car dealers have been unable to boost inventory as banks and lenders are cutting back on credit. The credit problem has been attributed to a crisis in the Non-Banking Financial Company sector.
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