Mumbai: The auto industry expressed shock at the latest Reserve Bank decision to hike key policy rates by 25 basis points on Friday, saying the move will further dampen the already cringing demand and will pour cold water on the festive season.
"The market has already slowed down. This latest hike will further dampen the auto sector. It will dampen demand during the festive season. It was never expected. The RBI should have given a break, at least this time," General Motors India Vice-President P Balendran said.
The Reserve Bank raised its key rates by 25 bps points to 8.25 percent - the 12th hike since last March, in its bid to batten down inflation which stood at an elevated 9.78 percent in August.
"Usually, every year we target around 20 percent jump in sales during the festive season, but this year we expected only 5 percent spike due to repeated interest rate hikes. But now it will be difficult to achieve even this 5 percent growth in sales," Balendran added.
Asked whether the company will increase car prices, he said, "we have not decided anything on it."
Fiat India also sees a significant impact on the sector following the RBI action.
"The industry is already under tremendous pressure and this fresh step by the central bank will further aggravate the situation. We never expected this. It's going to further dampen the festival sales," Fiat India President and Chief Executive Rajeev Kapoor said.
"The RBI step will hurt the overall auto industry," he said adding, the company has not decided anything on price hike.