Crude prices and the festive season sale will set the outlook for the auto industry in the next six months, said Rajan Wadhera, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), adding that rural sector will be a key growth driver for the industry.
"We are seeing some signals where demand is picking up in this festive season, said Wadhera. "If October and November drive the sales and crude is also favourable, I see about 8-9 percent growth in passenger vehicle (PV) segment."
One good thing is the improvement in rural affordability and the infrastructure, rural penetration is also going up, he said. "So, to a very large extent demand can come from rural areas," Wadhera added.
According to a data published by SIAM, sales of domestic PVs, declined 5.6 percent to 292,658 units in September, from 310,041 units in the same period last year.
"September has been down largely due to the festive season not being there, said Wadhera. "Last year, it was a festive month and this year it is not. Also, there have been some headwinds which are coming due to oil prices going up and sentiments being not very positive."