Higher fuel prices and interest rates and a slowdown in the economy saw car sales plummeting more than 18 per cent in August, the biggest drop in 10 months, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on Monday.
According to SIAM data, car manufacturers sold only 118,142 units last month which was 18.6 per cent lower than the figure logged a year ago.
SIAM said the negative buyer sentiment may continue for a longer period if the high fuel prices and interest rates do not come down.
“The external trends have had a very negative impact on sales. If these factors do not change then the current sentiment will continue,” Sugato Sen, senior director, told IANS.
Earlier, SIAM had brought down its sales forecast from 12-15 to 9-11 per cent. If the August sales trend continues then it may have to further downgrade its annual sales forecast.
“We will carry out a formal exercise to determine the rates in October,” Sen added.
Passenger car market leader Maruti Suzuki logged 40 per cent lower sales in August as compared to the offtake during the corresponding month of 2011. The automobile maker was hit by labour unrest last month.