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Car sales at historic low in India; auto companies urge government to revive sector

Car Sales Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Sep 09, 2019, 07.39 PM (IST)

India's car sales fell to a historic low last month in what the automobile body said was worst ever since 1997-98 when the association began keeping auto records.

Passenger vehicle sales plunged 31.57 per cent year-on-year to 196,524 units in August, falling for the 10th straight month, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said.

The automobile association said passenger car sales fell 41.09 per cent.

Companies had sold 417, 736 cars in 1997, according to auto data. The sale of passenger cars had picked up dramatically in the late 80s and especially after liberalisation in 1991 when car sales zoomed to 193, 601 going up to 605, 628 in 2000-2001.

Watch: Auto Sales Slowdown - Impact On Economy

However, in the past five years, car sales have been largely stagnant. In 2013, 2.5 million cars were sold in the country which went up to 3.3 million last year. Passenger cars dominated the list of cars sold annually selling over 25 lakh units which peaked to over 33 lakh in 2018-19. It was followed by commercial vehicles, three-wheelers and two-wheelers.

In all, over 1,84,23,223 vehicles were sold in India in 2013-14 which peaked to 2,62,67,783 in 2018-19. The automobile associated said today that passenger vehicle sales plunged 31.57 per cent year-on-year to 196,524 units in August 2019 as auto companies urged the government to revive the sector.

Interestingly, electric cars are way down the scale with just over a thousand sold in 2016, peaking to 2,000 in 2017 and then it fell last year to 1,200 last year.

The situation is grim not just in India, China too has experienced a dip in sales. In April, car sales fell 14.6 per cent in the world's largest automotive market. Last year in China, car sales fell for the first time since the 1990s.

Sales had dipped 2.8 per cent in 2018 to 28.1 million units, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The constant decline has pushed Chinese carmakers to push for new designs and resort to price cuts in order to revive sales while the government has taken measures to revive the sector.

Story highlights

The situation is grim not just in India, China too has experienced a dip in car sales.