The country's domestic passenger vehicle sales fell for the ninth straight month in July, an auto industry body said on Tuesday, amid a deepening crisis in the country's automobile sector that has triggered large-scale job losses.
The domestic passenger vehicle (PV) sales dropped 30.98 percent to 2,00,790 units in July, from 2,90,931 units in the same period a year ago.
Domestic car sales were down 35.95 percent at 1,22,956 units as against 1,91,979 units in July 2018, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday.
The data also showed that domestic passenger vehicle production was down nearly 17 percent in the month.
Motorcycle sales last month declined 18.88 percent to 9,33,996 units for the month as against 11,51,324 units in the year-ago period.
Total two-wheeler sales in July declined 16.82 percent to 15,11,692 units compared to 18,17,406 units in the year-ago month.
Sales of commercial vehicles were down 25.71 percent to 56,866 units in July as compared with 76,545 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 18.71 percent to 18,25,148 units from 22,45,223 units in July 2018, it added.
In fact, all vehicle categories witnessed a decline in sales during the month.
"The data shows urgent need for a revival package from the government. The industry is doing everything possible to increase sales but it needs government support to prevent the crisis from worsening," Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, told reporters in New Delhi.
India's S&P BSE auto sector index has fallen 23 percent this year, with the country's top automaker Maruti Suzuki's market valuation falling 18.3 percent since the beginning of this year.
The fall in car sales comes at a time when demand for consumer goods is falling and what is seen as a major sign of an economic slowdown in India, amid a liquidity crunch in the country's shadow banking sector that has impacted the availability of credit in the market.
India's auto sector is cutting tens of thousands of jobs citing slumping sales of cars and motorcycles, with many companies forced to shut down factories for days and axe shifts.
The downturn - regarded by industry executives as the worst ever suffered by the Indian auto industry - is posing a big challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government as it begins its second term at a time when India's jobless numbers are climbing.
The domestic auto industry demanded tax cuts and easier access to finance for dealers and buyers at a meeting with Indian government officials last week to discuss the sector's woes, in an effort to revive sales that have slumped.
(With inputs from Reuters)
First Published: IST