Car sales growth lowest in last seven months

Domestic passenger car sales recorded the slowest growth in the last seven months in May at 2.78 percent and stood at 1,63,229 units from 1,58,809 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the nodal body that has released the data, high fuel and interest costs coupled with slowdown in the economy has dampened car buyers' sentiments.

"There are many factors that have affected car sales like high fuel cost, high interest rates, excise duty hike and an overall slowdown in the economy," Vishnu Mathur, director general, SIAM,  told IANS.

"Customers who want to move from a two-wheeler to four-wheelers have deferred their plans. So have many other customers who want to buy a bigger car."

Not for just petrol powered cars, demand for the diesel vehicles has also slowed down due to the downturn in the economy.

"In general, demand for diesel cars has also slowed down, even in the premium segment. Increase in excise duty of diesel cars will hit the industry hard."

Other segments like commercial vehicles' sales in the month under review increased by 9.12 percent at 62,025 units from 56,841 units sold in May 2011.

Sales of light commercial vehicle zoomed by 24.43 percent at 39,798 units in the month under review from 31,983 units sold in May, 2011.

However, sales of key economic activity indicator segment -- medium and heavy commercial vehicles which include trucks and buses --  fell by 10.58 percent at 22,227 units in May 2012 from 24,858 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.
Total two-wheeler sales maintained healthy sales growth in May and increased by 11.40 percent at 11,92,688 units from 10,70,603 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

On a standalone basis, motorcycle sales in May grew by 7.24 percent at 8,87,634 units from 8,27,746 units sold in May 2011.

Overall the total vehicles sales across categories increased by 10.52 percent at 15,13,032 units from 13,69,070 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

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