Passenger Vehicle Sale Dips For 9th Straight Month, Slumps 31% In July

New Delhi: Passenger vehicle sales in the country fell for the ninth straight month in July, an auto industry body said on Tuesday, amid a deepening crisis in the country’s automobile sector that has triggered large-scale job losses.

Sales of passenger vehicles to car dealers fell 30.9 percent to 200,790 units in July, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed. Commercial vehicles sales fell 25.7 percent to 56,866 units, SIAM said.

Motorcycle and scooters sales fell 16.8 percent to about 1.51 million units, while passenger car sales fell 36 percent to 122,956 units, the data showed.

The data also showed that domestic passenger vehicle production was down nearly 17 percent in the month.

“The data shows 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.

The S&P BSE auto sector index has fallen 23 percent this year, with the country’s top automaker Maruti Suzuki’s market valuation falling 18.3 percent since the beginning of this year.

The fall in car sales comes at a time when demand for consumer goods is falling and what is seen as a major sign of an economic slowdown in India, amid a liquidity crunch in the country’s shadow banking sector that has impacted the availability of credit in the market.

The auto sector is cutting tens of thousands of jobs citing slumping sales of cars and motorcycles, with many companies forced to shut down factories for days and axe shifts.

The downturn, regarded by industry executives as the worst ever suffered by the Indian auto industry, is posing a big challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as it begins its second term at a time when country’s jobless numbers are climbing.

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