Auto Sales in India Down 12.26% in May image

Auto sales in India dropped for the 7th straight month in May, down 12.26% raising concerns about job cuts in the auto sector.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers auto sales in May reached 143,216 units, compared with 163,222 units in May 2012.

“This is the longest stretch of consecutive decline in car sales we have witnessed. Even in the 2008-09 downturn there were no such prolonged period of fall. These are worrying times for the automobile industry,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said here.

Demand for vehicles is being affected by high interest rates, increased inflation, economic slowdown, insecurity regarding jobs and low consumer confidence. If the slump will worsen, this could lead to job losses, not only in the auto sector.

“So far we have not received any specific information of people being laid off but the situation is such that it may have started or will start soon,” he said.

Last month Maruti Suzuki sold 66,342 vehicles in India, down 8.25%, while rival Hyundai was up 0.35% to 32,052 units. Tata fell 48.60% to 8,927 units and Honda was up 9.31% to 11,274 units. Motorcycle sales have also dropped 0.72% to 881,288 units, compared with 887,646 units in May 2012.