The auto industry in India continues to be in the grip of falling sales. With all segments registering negative growth, overall sales fell 15.93% in April to 2,001,096 units from 2,380,294 a year ago, according to data released by industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday.
Passenger cars—the largest segment by volumes—were the worst hit. Sales fell 19.93% to 160, 279 units in April from 200,183 a year ago. April marks the sixth month in a row of falling sales for this segment. The passenger vehicles segment including cars, utility vehicles, and vans dropped 17.07% to 247,541 units from 298,504 units. According to the retail sales data for April from the government’s Vahan Dashboard website, total passenger vehicles fell 1.28% while the overall sales fell 6.53%.
Two-wheelers, the second-largest segment by volumes, too took a hit of 16.36% drop in sales to 1,638,388 from 1,958,761. Three-wheelers sales fell 7.44% from 49,980 to 46,262.
Commercial vehicles—the only segment to show some uptick in March—were not spared, too. Sales dropped 5.98% from 73,049 to 68,680.
Total production fell 10.69 % to 2,363,376 units from 2,646,257 while exports, too, fell 0.05% to 400,656 units from 400,855.
SIAM said low market sentiment worked by the uncertainty in the run-up to the general election is a major reason for the industry’s lean phase. Sridhar V., partner, Grant Thornton, said concerns over high insurance and fuel costs too took their toll.
“The passenger car segment has a negative double-digit growth not seen for many recent years. This is not only on a y-o-y basis but also on a sequential basis. The indication of a slowdown is primarily caused by the low [market] sentiment on account of high insurance and fuel cost. This trend is expected to continue in the near term,” he said. However, new releases are likely to be key in breaking the trend, he added, pointing to the success of new models such as Honda’s Civic and Hyundai’s Santro.