India still optimistic about car sector, although sales continue to fall image

Until now, monthly car sales reports still say India’s auto sector is falling, but experts for a recovery following the country’s general election and the economy’s growth forecast.

According to data coming from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the past financial year saw year-on-year sales go down 5% to 1,786,899 units and followed a 7% drop in the year before. Most analysts and experts say the period was the worst for the Indian automotive industry, but prospects are more favorable in the second part of 2014.

“2014 won’t be as bad as 2013, mostly because 2013 was incredibly bad,” said Deepesh Rathore, director of Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors. “However, a lot of this depends on the election results. A stable government can do wonders and an unstable knit-together coalition would be a disaster.”

“A clear trend is that the compact sedan and compact utility vehicle segments are doing well even in a slow market, both of which are categories unique to India,” said one India-based auto analyst. “Most manufacturers are now taking the trouble of making India-specific vehicles, which in most cases has meant just adding a boot to their existing premium hatchback. Hyundai, Honda, Maruti have already had great success with this.”

The New-Delhi based research group predicts sales could go up 1-3% this year, as the economy has returned to a 7-8% growth and is forecasted to have an 8% rise over the next financial year.

Via Financial Times