Auto sales skid in Sept; post sharpest fall in nearly four yrs

Domestic car sales declined by 5.36 percent to 1,57,536 units in September 2012 compared to 1,66,464 units in the same month last year.

Updated: Oct 10, 2012, 17:20 PM IST

New Delhi: Vehicle sales in India registered steepest monthly fall in nearly four years at 9.43 percent in September with the upcoming festive season failing to boost sentiment of car and motorcycle buyers.

According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday, domestic car sales in September decreased by 5.36 percent, while motorcycle segment dipped 18.85 percent, the sharpest decline in three years and nine months.

The total sale of vehicles across categories registered a dip of 9.43 percent to 14,18,134 units last month as against 15,65,757 units in September 2011. The rate of fall is the steepest since December 2008, when sales had declined by 18.25 percent.

"The overall economic situation of the country, low sentiments, high petrol prices and interest rates are among the factors which are hurting the overall sales of the auto industry," SIAM President S Sandilya told reporters here.

During the month, domestic car sales declined to 1,57,536 units from 1,66,464 units in the same month last year.

"New model launches at attractive price points in the utility vehicle segments have also been a factor in low car sales," Sandilya said.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki's sales rose by 3.43 percent to 68,957 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales, however, decreased by 13.88 percent to 30,795 units. Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' car sales were down by 18.46 percent at 17,133 units.

In the two-wheeler segment, total sales in September 2012 decreased by 12.92 percent to 10,69,069 units from 12,27,662 in September 2011.

Motorcycle sales last month fell by 18.85 percent to 7,53,693 units, from 9,28,716 units in the same month previous year. The sharpest decrease earlier was 23 percent in December 2008.

"There is a fall in sales for motorcycles due to weak rural demand and sustained cautious urban sentiments," Sandilya said.

In the motorcycle segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp posted 30.59 percent fall in sales to 3,44,512 units in September. Rival Bajaj Auto's sales went down by 19.37 percent to 2,06,248 units.

However, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) posted 77.44 percent increase in sales to 1,07,406 units, while TVS Motor moved 49,061 units, 30.51 percent less than the same month of the previous year.

The scooter segment's overall sales grew 10.17 percent to 2,54,321 units, from 2,30,838 units.