The struggling Indian automobile industry today reported yet another worst-ever performance with overall domestic sales declining by 18.2 per cent in December 2008,as commercial vehicles and two-wheelers sales crashed heavily.
The total vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 5,97,622 units in December last year as against 7,30,603 units in the same month in 2007,according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The previous worst overall sales was in November 2008 with a decline of 17.98 per cent at 7,11,281 units as against 8,67,243 units in the same month previous year.
The decline in sales was led by the beleaguered commercial vehicles (CV) segment,which recorded a dip of 58.28 per cent at 17,920 units in December 2008 as against 42,961 units in the corresponding month the previous year. Passenger cars segment performed relatively better than expected despite a decline of 6.9 per cent in December 2008 to 82,105 units,from 88,272 units a year ago. SIAM had expected a 15 per cent decline.
Motorcycle sales in the country,during the month,was down by 22.9 per cent at 3,35,820 units,against 4,35,925 units in the year-ago period,while total two-wheeler sales were down by 15.4 per cent at 4,61,302 units,compared with 5,45,485 units in the same month previous year. SIAM said this is the worst sales performance by the CV segment in 11 years. The previous worst-ever sales in the CV segment was in July 1997,which witnessed a decline of 51.76 per cent, SIAM Senior Director Sugato Sen said.
He said the two-wheeler segment has recorded a worse performance with a 15.4 per cent decline in sales as against a 14.68 per cent decline in November last year. Scooter segment was the exception recording a growth of 16.4 per cent at 90,247 units as against 77,494 units in December 2007.