Auto sector crisis: As festive air fails to cheer, Maruti, Tata, Mahindra others slash production

Simran Kashyap

Mumbai, Oct 09: As the onset of the festive season failed to lift the ongoing slump in the auto industry, several auto manufacturing companies have actually slashed production amid slowing demand for vehicles.

Double-digit decline in vehicle sales

Many Major automobile makers like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hyundai, Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota and Honda, have reported a double-digit decline in domestic passenger vehicle sales in September.

While the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India reported a 26.7 percent drop in September sales at 1,12,500 units, sale of passenger vehicles by Tata Motors fell 63 percent drop at 6,976 units as compared to 18,855 units in 2018.

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Sales of mini cars comprising Alto and WagonR stood at 20,085 units as compared to 34,971 units in the same month last year, down 42.6 percent.

According to reports even sales of compact segment, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, fell 22.7 percent at 57,179 units as against 74,011 cars in September last year.

The firm's mid-sized sedan Ciaz sold 1,715 units as compared to 6,246 units earlier.

Similarly, sales of utility vehicles, including Vitara Brezza, S-Cross and Ertiga, declined marginally at 21,526 units as compared to 21,639 in the year-ago month, it added.

Hyundai Motor India domestic PV sales were down 14.8 percent at 40,705 units as against 47,781 units in September last year.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) reported 33 percent decline in passenger vehicle sales at 14,333 units last month as compared to 21,411 units in the same month last year.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor's domestic sales were at 10,203 units last month as compared to 12,512 units in September 2018, a decline of 18 percent.

However, this was not the case with the German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz which announced on Tuesday that it has delivered over 200 cars of various models to customers in Mumbai, Gujarat and other cities in a single day as part of the festival season sale.

It is the highest ever, to the customers on Dussehra in Mumbai and another 74 cars to customers in Gujarat on Navratri festival.

Auto industry slowdown worsens, August 2019 data shows alarming dip in sales

At present the sector suffers from a sales downturn due to several factors like high GST rates, farm distress, stagnant wages and liquidity constraints.

Even the inauspicious Shraddh period and floods in select regions in the country have also impacted sales.

Earlier in August, Nirmala Sitharaman had announced several measures to boost auto sector. She said lifting a ban on purchase of vehicles by government departments, and allowing additional 15% depreciation on vehicles bought till March 2020 among others.

(with PTI inputs)

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