Slowdown in auto sector continues, Maruti reports 24 pc fall

New Delhi: Consumer sentiment continued to be weak in September amid economic slowdown, leading several automobile manufacturers to report falling sales on Tuesday despite deep discounts being offered ahead of the festival season.

The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India reported 24.4 per cent decline in sales at 122,640 units last month compared to 162,290 units in September last year.

Domestic sales declined by 26.7 per cent at 112,500 units last month as against 153,550 units in September 2018, it said in a statement. Exports were down by 17.8 per cent at 7,188 units as against 8,740 units in the corresponding month last year.

Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland said its sales fell 27 per cent year-on-year last month to 68,546 units versus 94,087 in September 2018.

Total domestic medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales fell 36 per cent, mainly driven by a 74 per cent decline in truck sales.

Eicher Motors said its commercial vehicle sales in September dropped sharply by 43.2 per cent to 3,784 units compared to 6,663 units in the same month last year.

Two- and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto reported 35 per cent decline in domestic motorcycle sales at 177,348 units compared to 273,029 units in the same month a year ago.

The company’s total sales for September were down 20 per cent at 402,035 units against 502,009 units in the same month of 2018. Exports also fell by 2 per cent at 186,534 units against 190,506 units on a year-on-year basis, the company said in a statement.

Its commercial vehicle sales (domestic and exports) also were down 8 per cent at 65,305 units versus 71,070 units year-on-year.

Many auto manufacturers have declared some days as ‘no-production days’ to cope up with rising unsold inventory.

Some have even reported job losses due to falling sales stemming from a severe liquidity crunch in the non-banking financial sector that has dried up lines of credit to both auto dealers and potential car buyers.

The auto industry accounts for nearly half of India’s manufacturing output and employs over 3.5 crore people directly and indirectly.

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