After months of poor sales, demand for passenger vehicles showed marginal growth in October, thanks to a rise in utility vehicle sales.

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday, sales of passenger vehicles—which include cars, utility vehicles, and vans—grew 0.28% to 285,027 units from 284,223 units a year ago. Utility vehicle was the only sub-segment which saw growth; it reported a 22.22% rise in sales.

However, sales of passenger cars, the largest segment by volumes, fell 6.34% to 173,649 units in October from 185,400 units in the corresponding month last year.

Overall, total sales of the industry fell 12.76% to 2,176,136 units from 2,494,345 units a year ago.

The commercial vehicle segment—which includes light, and medium, and heavy vehicles—suffered a steep fall of 50.4%; the two-wheelers segment posted a decrease of 14.43% to 1,757,264 units from 2,053,497 in the year-ago period.

Total production also fell 26.22% to 2,155,863 units in October 2019 from 2,922,010 units last year.

However, passenger car exports showed positive growth. It gained 2.72% from 385,486 units last October to 395,964 this year.

India’s auto sector, which continues to reel under a slowdown for more than a year now, suffered suppressed market sentiment due to factors like the transition from Bharat Stage (BS) IV to BS-VI emission standards, fuel price volatility, liquidity crunch, and a rise in insurance costs.

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