At 3.4%,car sales witness slowest April growth in 10 years

Post-Budget price hikes,high interest rates pull down sales,says SiaM

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: May 11, 2012 12:39:26 am

Passenger car sales in India recorded the slowest growth during April in a decade with a mere 3.4 per cent rise compared with the corresponding month of the previous year,mainly due to post-Budget price hikes and high interest rates.

According to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) on Thursday,domestic car sales stood at 1,68,351 units in April against 1,62,813 units in the same month last year.

“The growth last month was sober,it is the slowest for April in the last 10 years. The price hike that was done after excise duty was raised in the Budget and high interest rates have affected consumers’ sentiment,” Siam director general Vishnu Mathur said. In April 2002,the auto industry had witnessed car sales falling by 22 per cent,he added.

“The volume-driven small car segment was the worst hit in April with just 0.68 per cent rise in sales. This segment is very price sensitive and slightest alterations impact it,” Mathur said,adding the market would take some time to absorb this price hike that has affected other sectors also.

In Budget 2012-13,the government hiked excise duty by 2 percentage points to 12 per cent that has been passed on to customers by every automaker.

Total sales of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 10.01 per cent to 14,72,385 units in April against 13,38,430 units in the same month last year.

“Overall,growth in the industry was subdued. The first six months are going to be tough because if we expect any industry-friendly monetary policy,then it will happen in the second half only,” Mathur said. In the passenger car segment,Maruti Suzuki’s sales dipped by 1.31 per cent to 72,939 units. However,Hyundai Motor India’s sales increased by 10.75 per cent to 35,000 units. Tata Motors’ passenger car sales were down by 4.78 per cent at 18,610 units. In the two-wheeler segment sales in April 2012 increased by 10.94 per cent to 11,57,108 units from 10,43,010 units in April 2011.

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