India car sales down 25% in February, lowest in 12 years
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India car sales growth rate in India plunged to a 12-year low in February, registering a 25.71 per cent decline to 1,58,513 units as high fuel prices, interest rates and low consumer sentiments took a toll.
With just a month left for the fiscal to complete, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said it was certain that car sales growth would be in negative territory in 2012-13, the first decline since 2002-03, as it would miss the forecast of 0-1 per cent for the ongoing fiscal.
"The decline in car sales in February was the biggest since December 2000, when sales declined by 39.86 per cent. The market continues to be extremely difficult as high fuel prices, interest rates and overall macro economic factors are adding to low consumer sentiments," SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told reporters here.
According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in the same month last was at 2,13,362 units.
During the month, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a decline of 10.89 per cent at 83,865 units as against 94,118 units in the same month last year. Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd also had a decline of 7.42 per cent at 33,936 units as compared to 36,658 units.
Tata Motors domestic sales plunged by over three-fold to 7,769 units in February this year as against 28,236 units in the same months last year.
When asked if the announcements in the Budget for 2013-14 can give a boost to the auto industry, he said it had some positives for the overall sector but higher taxes on SUVs, which is the fastest growing segment has come in as a dampener.
"The feedback we have received from the companies is that in the next three-four months they don't see any significant improvement, even new model launches are unlikely to lift the sentiments. They are, however, optimistic that in the second half of the year sales may again pick up," Sen said.
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