For the domestic passenger vehicle industry, which not long ago was touted as the fastest growing in the world, it is an unprecedented and unwanted run. With another steep double digit decline in sales in June this year, sale of cars, SUVs, MUVs and vans in India have now declined for eight straight months in a run that stretches as far back as October last year. Worse, sales have now declined in 11 of the last 12 months.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki that accounts for one of every two passenger vehicles sold in the country posted a 17.2 per cent dip in its tally in June at 111,014 units. The decline at 19.1 per cent was the steepest in its ubiquitous small car segment that includes bestsellers like the Alto, Wagon R, Swift, Dzire, Baleno and Celerio.
The next in line in the business, Hyundai also saw a 7.3 per cent fall in sales at 42,007 units even though it has two brand new mass-market models – new Santro launched in October 2018 and the Venue compact SUV launched in May this year. The new launches are clearly not helping but Hyundai is not alone. Tata Motors also saw a 27 per cent dip in sales even though it had launched its new midsized SUV Harrier only in January. Similarly, Toyota, which launched a re-badged Suzuki Baleno as the Glanza last month under its collaboration with the market leader, suffered a 19 per cent decline in sales.
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“The Industry has been witnessing a continuous decline in domestic sales owing to several factors that have contributed to the weak consumer sentiment. The prevailing economic uncertainty, uncertainty on monsoons, high interest costs, tight liquidity and the underlying apprehensions surrounding BS VI introduction in few months have steered the slowdown,” said N. Raja, Deputy Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
The only outlier in the industry was Mahindra and Mahindra, which registered a 4 per cent growth in its passenger vehicle sales and an 8 per cent growth in utility vehicles, which forms a subset of its PV portfolio.