Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday said the “mindset of millennials” was a factor behind the slowdown in vehicle sales. At an event in Chennai, she said the government was “seized of the problem” and is trying “to solve it”.
“Now that’s why I periodically remind that the automobiles in particular and the components together, have been affected by several things, inclusive of BS-VI movement, inclusive of that registration fee related matter, which we have deferred till June, inclusive of the mindset, some studies do tell us, the mindset of the millennials who are now preferring not to commit an EMI (equated monthly installment) towards buying automobiles, but would consider taking (cab aggregators) Ola, Uber and everything else or take the Metro. So, (a) whole lot of factors are influencing the automobiles sector,” she said.
Her comments went viral and resulted in the hashtag #BoycottMillennials, which people used with jokes and memes.
Here are some of the reactions:
The sales of cars and utility vehicles witnessed the worst monthly decline in August, with domestic sales of passenger vehicles falling 31.6 per cent year-on-year to 196,524 units in August, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. This is the lowest number since 1997-98 when SIAM started recording data.
In July, auto sales had dropped by 18.71 per cent from the same month last year, which was the sharpest decline in nearly 19 years. The slump has rendered almost 15,000 workers jobless over the past two-three months.