India’s auto market heads towards its lowest level over the past 10 years, as sales dropped 12.5% to 173,420 vehicles in January.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers the auto industry in the country is expected to miss all growth targets during this fiscal year. In January SIAM had released a forecast of 0-1% growth of vehicles during the fiscal year, but the forecast will be reevaluated at the end of this month after the upcoming budget.

“The low sentiment couple with decelerating economy is likely to push Indian auto industry to its lowest growth since FY’2002-03, when car sales dipped 2.1 per cent,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general, SIAM portraying a gloomy outlook for the industry.

Last month all important automakers in India reported marginal or negative sales, with Maruti Suzuki, the market leader announcing flat sales of 88,557 units from 88,377 units in January 2012. Hyundai Motor India reported a 1.45% increase to 34,247 units, compared with 33,756 units sold in 2012, while Tata Motors dropped 61% to 11,192 units last month. SIAM has already cut its passenger car sales target from 10%-12% in April to 0-1% in January.

“These are the toughest times for the Indian auto industry. We are pinning hopes on the upcoming budget, especially for the trucks and buses segment, which has declined by a massive 40 per cent in January,” said SIAM’s deputy director general Sugato Sen said.


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