February car sales fall 4.21% in India
Car sales declined for a second straight month, posting 4.21 per cent dip in February, as Jat quota stir, inventory adjustment by some firms and postponed purchases in expectations of a price cut after the Budget affected demand. According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), domestic passenger car sales stood at 1,64,469 units in February as against 1,71,703 units in the same month last year.
“Jat agitation had an impact on the industry, especially on market leader Maruti Suzuki’s dispatches. Moreover, there were inventory corrections by some of the auto manufacturers,” SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen said here.
He further said: “Also, some of the dealers didn’t pick up stock ahead of the Budget as they were expecting some reduction in excise duties that would have affected prices differently.”
Although in the Budget, instead of reducing excise duties on passenger vehicles, an infrastructure cess of 1-4 per cent was imposed on different categories of automobiles, besides collection of tax at source at the rate of 1 per cent on purchase of luxury cars exceeding Rs 10 lakh. Snapping a 14-month growth streak, car sales in India had declined in January to 1,68,303 units compared with 1,69,527 units in January last year. In February, market leader Maruti Suzuki India saw its domestic car sales decline by 3.94 per cent to 87,149 units as against 90,728 units in the same month last year. Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) also witnessed a decline of 12.7 per cent at 32,442 units last months as against 37,163 units in February last year.