Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market registered a drop of 6.05 per cent during FY14. The last time sales in this segment dipped to such an extent was in FY01 at 5.87 per cent.
The passenger vehicle segment, includes passenger cars that reported a decline in sales by 4.65 per cent, according to data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
In FY13, passenger car sales in India had registered a decline of 6.69 per cent. The commercial vehicle segment fared no better, registering a decline of 20.23 per cent at 6,32,738 units.
“The business environment, during the last year, was tough due to low growth of economy, high interest rates, fuel prices and low sentiments,” said Vikram Kirloskar, president of Siam.
Decline in sales due to high interest rates, rising fuel prices and uncertain economic conditions forced carmakers to slash production by around 5 per cent last year.
“We have not done a calculation of how many jobs were lost, but I personally feel that across the entire value chain in the auto industry, from raw material suppliers to dealerships, there could be around 1,00,000-1,50,000 job losses,” Kirloskar said.
Sales of two-wheelers, however, maintained an upward curve and registered an increase in sales of 7.31 per cent during FY14.
While demand for motorcycles grew by 3.91 per cent to 10,479,817 units, those of scooters went up by 23.24 per cent to 3,602,744 units.
With a push from increasing two-wheeler sales, total sales of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 3.53 per cent at 18,421,538 units in FY14 as compared to 17,793,701 units in FY13.
Siam, however, has forecast that the sales during FY15 will witness a moderate growth.
“The industry was hoping for a moderate growth or at least not to be in the negative territory, provided that the new government leaves excise duty rates unchanged,” Kirloskar said.
Commercial vehicles, however, continued to reel under a prolonged slump, posting a decline of 20.23 per cent at 6,32,738 units as against 7,93,211 units in the earlier fiscal.
Maruti to recall 1,03,311 units of Ertiga, Swift, DZire
Maruti Suzuki India on Friday said that it will recall over 1 lakh units of its Ertiga, Swift and Dzire vehicles, manufactured between November 12, 2013, and February 4, 2014, to replace faulty fuel caps that could lead to fuel leaks in extreme cases.
The firm said, “In the affected vehicles there is a possibility of fuel smell and in extreme conditions there might be some fuel leakage, if filled up to the fuel cap, beyond the ‘auto cutoff level.”
The recall will impact a total of 1,03,311 vehicles — 42,481 units of DZire, 47,237 units of Swift and 13,593 units of Ertiga. The company said that the new fuel filler necks are being dispatched to the dealer workshops.
“Considering the number of vehicles impacted, the company is building up stock of the required component at its dealer workshops, before inviting customers,” it said.
Customers who have bought Swift, Dzire and Ertiga post November 12, 2013, can check the company website on the status of their cars.