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Car sales in India fall 19%, bikes hit too

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Automakers sold 118,142 cars in August, down 18.6 percent from a year ago.   (Reuters) Automakers sold 118,142 cars in August, down 18.6 percent from a year ago. (Reuters)
SummaryCar sales have declined for the first time in 10 mths - bike sales log first fall since 2009.

Car sales in India fell for the first time in 10 months in August, and motorcycle sales fell for the first time since January 2009, an industry body said, as high interest rates and slowing economic growth dragged down demand.

Automakers sold 118,142 cars in August, down 18.6 percent from a year ago, according to data released on Monday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Weak demand was compounded by a factory shutdown at market leader Maruti Suzuki that slashed its sales by 41 percent.

Sales of motorcycles fell 8.5 percent to 766,127 vehicles. Truck and bus sales stood at 66,767 vehicles, up 3.9 percent.

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Domestic car sales down 19 pc, bikes' dip by 8 pc in Aug

(PTI) Car sales in India declined by 18.56 per cent in August this year, the biggest drop in 10 months, prompting industry body SIAM to seek cut in excise duty from the government.

With exports also posting the highest decline in more than 11 years, falling 26.83 per cent during the month, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also sought a stimulus package similar to the one given during the 2008-09 downturn, stating the industry is "now entering a desperate situation".

The overall vehicle sales in the country also registered a drop of 3.9 per cent to 13,54,436 units in August this year, the biggest decline in more than three and half years.

According to the latest SIAM figures, domestic cars sales in August stood at 1,18,142 units compared to 1,45,066 units in the same month last year, down 18.56 per cent. The rate of decline is the highest since October 2011, when sales declined by 23.74 per cent to 1,39,095 units.

"This is the time when wholesale numbers should be picking up as dealers stock-up to meet festive season demand, but this has not happened. We are entering a desperate situation. We need help from the government," SIAM Senior Director Sugato Sen told reporters here.

He said the excise duty on automobiles, which was increased in this year's Budget, needs to be reduced, particularly for the commercial vehicles segment.

"The stimulus package, which was provided during the 2008-09 downturn, needs to be provided. If something is not done by the government, we are going to suffer," Sen added.

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