Indian auto industry sales continue to fall in April 2019

The drop in sales was particularly steep for scooters and vans

automobiles-india-reuters Representative image | Reuters

In line with the general gloom across all other industrial indices, the automobile industry in India also announced an all-round decline in sales, going into financial year 2019.

Virtually, every category from scooters to cars to commercial vehicles showed a fall in production as well as sales, according to the monthly data for April, released on Monday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

The drop in sales was particularly steep for scooters (almost 26 per cent) and vans (30 per cent), compared to figures in the same month a year ago. Passenger cars sales fell by almost 20 per cent.

The total sale of passenger vehicles fell by more than 17 per cent. The decline is in tune with other manufacturing sectors, as overall industry has been groaning due to slow growth and fears of an impending slowdown. The uncertainty of a long drawnout elections has only added to the worries.

Most of the mainstream auto majors have also scaled down their productions, anticipating exactly this kind of a degrowth. For example, Maruti Suzuki manufactured just 1.4 lakh vehicles in April, a drop of 10.33 per cent compared to last year. The decline is even sharper for companies like Ford, whose production fell by almost 28 per cent.

The Indian automobile industry produced 2.3 million vehicles last month, compared to 2.6 million in the same month last year—a drop of 10.69 per cent. The only area offering a glimmer of hope is exports, where the decline has been negligent at 0.05 per cent. Export of passenger cars actually grew by 11.60 per cent, but this has been offset by decline in all other categories, from commercial vehicles (-54.32 per cent), three wheelers (-7.53 per cent) and two wheelers (-0.04 per cent).