Passenger vehicle sales fall for 9 consecutive months, drop 31% in July

  • Passenger vehicle sales fall for 9 consecutive months, drop 31% in July

Passenger vehicle sales fall for 9 consecutive months, drop 31% in July

The drop in sales is the worst since December 2000, when the industry sold a fifth of the vehicles it sells now.

Sales of passenger vehicles to auto dealers plunged 30.9% to 200,790 in July, the ninth straight month of declines, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed. Commercial vehicles sales plunged 25.7% to 56,866 units, SIAM said. For an industry, which is now in its 10th month of continually declining sales, July 2019 numbers are a back-breaker.

Total two-wheeler sales in July declined 16.82 per cent to 15,11,692 units compared to 18,17,406 units in the year-ago month.

"The data shows an urgent need for a revival package from the government. The industry is doing everything possible to increase sales but it needs government support to prevent the crisis from worsening", Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, told reporters in New Delhi. Ram Venkataramani, President- Automobile Component Manufacturer Association (ACMA) said last month that if the slowdown continues, 10 lakh jobs throughout the auto and its ancillary industries are at risk.

With plunging sales, almost 300 dealerships have been forced to close down leading to loss of around two lakh jobs, Mathur said. "However, it is still not clear what all elements would be included in it".

Reuters reported last week that companies in the sector - which includes manufacturers, auto parts makers and dealerships - have so far cut as many as 350,000 jobs. "We are now banking upon the festive season, a largely good monsoon, BS6 pre-buying and the revival package to bring the industry back on its feet", Mathur said.

"We are saying that reduction in GST rate, even for a temporary time, would help in reviving the sales... The more the industry goes down, more hard it would become for it to come up", Mathur said. It is an industry which contributes to nearly 49 per cent to the manufacturing GDP of the country and employs close to 37 million people directly and indirectly. Others such as Tata Motors Ltd, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Renault have taken similar measures at their factories across India.

Two-wheeler sales in July declined 16.82% to 15,11,692 units compared to 18,17,406 units in July previous year. July 2019's sales decline of 18.71 percent is also the highest. Year-to-date (April-July) sales also saw a downtick of 21 per cent.