Sales of utility vehicles (UVs) moved to reverse gear in July, declining 17.53% y-o-y following a growth of almost 50% last fiscal. This, despite a string of new launches from most automakers, data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed on Monday.
Even car sales faltered, dropping 7.4% during the month over the same period a year ago, the ninth such straight fall. High fuel prices and financial weakness continue to dampen the overall demand, and by extension the growth for the industry.
The result was there to see. The total passenger vehicle segment, which includes utility vehicles (UVs), cars and vans, lost ground by almost 8% year on year.
UVs have hit a roadblock this year, post the announcement of an additional 3% excise duty. New launches like EcoSport just couldn’t save the day. The impact was so severe that sales of the biggest utility vehicle maker, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), too went downhill, tanking 29% y-o-y in July.
After months of decline in sales numbers, it’s the exports which have held up and are the only bright spot for the industry.
According to SIAM, car exports in July picked up 12.10% while those for the UVs shot up a whopping 588% as low base and launch of new models fuelled further growth.
Other segments, including commercial vehicles (CVs) and motorcycles, are no better, which continue to stay wobbly.
The CV sales in particular lost steam by 14.9% while two wheelers registered a decline of 2%. Scooter sales grew a mere 9% while motorcycles fell almost 1%.
Sensing the urgency of the situation, SIAM last month had said it’s pushing for a stimulus package for the automobile sector as a whole.