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Auto sales plunge 19%; highest monthly de-growth in 19 years

Last week, automobile sector representatives met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to apprise her of the grim situation.

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Car Sale Down

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) The domestic automobile industry on Tuesday sought revival measures from the government, even as data showed that overall sectoral off-take in July plunged 18.71 per cent, recording the highest monthly sales de-growth in the last 19 years.

Industry observers cited high cost due to GST and lack of adequate liquidity as the main reasons for the sales slowdown.

The data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), showed that total sales of the Indian automobile sector declined by 18.71 per cent during July to 1,825,148 units, from 2,245,223 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.

“We hope the government would come out very soon with a revival package of sorts to arrest the de-growth and to bring the industry back to a growth path,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.

“We are hoping that the Finance Minister will issue some kind of measures to bring the industry back on the growth path.”

Last week, automobile sector representatives met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to apprise her of the grim situation.

At present, the sector has proposed a reduction in GST rates, a scrappage policy and resolution of the liquidity and the non-banking finance company (NBFC) crisis.

The collapse of some large NBFCs has been cited as a major factor for the sales downturn as these companies used to provide the bulk of automobile financing.

Additionally, the data showed that passenger cars sales in the domestic market plunged by 35.95 per cent to 122,956 units, from 191,979 units sold during July 2018.

Furthermore, among the other sub-segments of passenger vehicles, the number of utility vehicles sold in India went down by 15.22 per cent to 67,030 units in July 2019, while 10,804 vans were sold last month, down 45.68 per cent from the corresponding month of 2018.

Overall, passenger vehicle sales declined 30.98 per cent in July to 200,790 units, from 290,931 units.

In the commercial vehicle segment, domestic sales were down by 25.71 per cent to 56,866 units last month, SIAM said.

Similarly, the data revealed that three-wheeler sales also decelerated. The segment’s off-take went down by 7.66 per cent to 55,719 units during the month in consideration.

In addition, overall sales of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, edged lower by 16.82 per cent to 1,511,692 units.

However, exports across categories were higher by 4.22 per cent to 414,596 units.

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Audi launches new A6 sedan; priced Rs 54 lakh onwards

“The new Audi A6 heralds the very best of luxury and technology, while also marking the entry of our first BS-VI compliant model in the country.”

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Audi A6

New Delhi, Oct 24 : German luxury car manufacturer Audi on Thursday launched the new Audi A6 in India, with price starting at Rs 54.20 lakh onwards.

According to the company, the new model is equipped with a powerful 2.0L TFSI engine and generates 180kW (245 hp) and 370 Nm of torque propelling the car from 0 to 100 km per hour in 6.8 seconds.

Commenting on the launch, Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India, said: “With the launch of the new Audi A6, we are presenting the eighth generation of the successful full size sedan that brings numerous innovations to the segment.”

“The new Audi A6 heralds the very best of luxury and technology, while also marking the entry of our first BS-VI compliant model in the country.”

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Auto slowdown dents BJP’s prospects in state polls

In Maharashtra, the BJP had targeted 200 plus seats in the 288-member Assembly. It’s poised to win 103 seats and its ally, the Shiv Sena, over 57 seats.

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New Delhi/Mumbai, Oct 24 : Auto sector’s diminishing fortunes seem to have dented the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) electoral prospects in major automobile producing states of Haryana and Maharashtra.

Automobile manufacturing belts, like Gurugram-Manesar in Haryana and Chakan-Pune in Maharashtra, house companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter, and thousands of auto ancillaries.

Also, as the economic slowdown hit industries in these states, the BJP could not record the level of electoral victory it was expected to achieve.

“The people here faced hardships due to the slowdown and lay-offs, which impacted the BJP’s electoral prospects to some extent,” said Rajesh Shukla, General Secretary of the Hero MotoCorp Workers Union.

In Haryana, the BJP failed to cross the halfway mark in the 90-member Assembly. The BJP won 40 seats, but all its Ministers lost, barring one. The BJP had set a target of winning 75 seats in Haryana.

In Maharashtra, the BJP had targeted 200 plus seats in the 288-member Assembly. It’s poised to win 103 seats and its ally, the Shiv Sena, over 57 seats.

According to industry insiders and locals, the economy of these areas is dependent upon the income generated via employment and other businesses associated with automobile manufacturing.

The slowdown, which led to lay-offs and lesser numbers of production days at the factories in these belts, impacted local businesses more than anywhere else in the country.

The auto industry is facing a demand slowdown on account of high goods and services tax (GST), farm distress, stagnant wages and liquidity constraints.

In September, all major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) comprising passenger, commercial, two- and three-wheeler manufacturers reported massive decline in domestic sales.

As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) sales figures, the overall sectoral off-take in the domestic market plunged 22.41 per cent in September. In August, it had declined 23.55 per cent.

This level of downturn was witnessed only once earlier, in December 2000, when the decline was registered at 21.81 per cent. The available data series started in 1997-98.

According to industry estimates, around 15,000 contractual manufacturing jobs have been lost and another million are at risk if the slowdown is not reversed.

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Historic fall in India vehicles sales enters 11th month

Besides, two-wheeler sales – often tracked to analyse the rural markets health – were also down 22.09 per cent.

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Auto sector slowdown

New Delhi, Oct 11 : Despite a 135 basis point interest rate cut since February and a number of measures announced by the Central government, including a sharp corporate tax cut, domestic vehicle sales plummeted for the 11th straight month in September.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data released on Friday showed that total commercial vehicle sales — a proxy for the economy’s commercial health — steeply fell by 39 per cent to 58,419 units in September.

Rating agency ICRA had, earlier this month, said its outlook on the domestic commercial vehicle sector was negative, considering the sharp correction in vehicle sales amid slowing economic growth, overcapacity and tight financing environment.

Signs that the customers were still away from showrooms was clearly visible in passenger vehicles sales data, which witnessed a decline of 23.69 per cent to 223,317 units this September.

Passenger cars sales witnessed de-growth of of 33.4 per cent to 131,281 units. In August, sales were down 41 per cent.

SIAM President, Rajan Wadhera, however, told reporters that the festive season retail sales that are monitored on a regular basis is “good” but avoided giving any sales forecast.

“The Navaratri sale has also been good and if we compare it to the sales from last year, the sale has been nearly 10-12 per cent better,” he said.

Wadera stressed that owing to number of government steps and ongoing festive season, the consumer sentiments have improved. Consumer confidence, the Reserve Bank of Indian showed, dipped to six-year low in September.

Besides, two-wheeler sales – often tracked to analyse the rural markets health – were also down 22.09 per cent.

Three-wheeler sales declined by 6.66 percent in April-September 2019 over the same period last year. Within three-wheelers, passenger carrier sales registered a de-growth of 6.37 percent and that of goods carriers declined by 7.98 percent in April-September 2019 over April-September 2018.

In the two-wheeler segment, sales registered a de-growth of 16.18 percent in April-September 2019 over April-September 2018 while in the segment, scooters, motorcycles and mopeds declined by 16.94 per cent, 15.24 per cent and 25.33 per cent, respectively, in April-September 2019 over the comparable period last year.

Overall domestic automobile sales fell 22.41 per cent in September 2019. In August, the sales data had showed that overall sectoral offtake in the domestic market had plunged 23.55 per cent.

This level of downturn was witnessed only once earlier, in December 2000, when the de-growth was registered at 21.81 per cent. The available data series commences from 1997-98.

However, exports across categories inched-up by 0.68 per cent to 417,232 units from 414,428 units shipped-out during September 2018.

The sales decline has forced several auto markers were forced to announce production cuts and slash workforce in order to cut losses.

Automobile production declined by (-)18.29 per cent in September to 2,406,640 units across segments and categories.

“There is a small element of positive performance, if one were to look at the volume growth, on a sequential basis across segments and this is coming out of some new introductions and discounts offered. But this is nowhere near the volumes seen in the previous year,” Grant Thornton India LLP Partner Sridhar V. told IANS.

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