Car sales in India skidded nearly 24 per cent in October 2011 even as overall passenger vehicle sales dropped 20.25 per cent, amidst a prolonged strike at car market leader Maruti Suzuki Ltd, a general hike in interest rates and the rising cost of fuel.
In October 2011, sales of passenger cars registered a negative growth at (-) 23.77 per cent, while utility vehicle sales grew at a marginal 0.41 per cent and sales of van declined by (-) 17.57 per cent. Overall passenger vehicle sales declined by (-) 20.25 per cent during the month.
The decline in sales, the sharpest in 10 years, was mainly on account of a huge drop in output at the country's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki, following labour trouble, coupled with the hikes in interest rates and fuel prices.
Domestic sales of passenger cars stood at 1,38,521 units in October 2011 against 1,81,704 units in the same month last year, figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed.
Car sales in India have been declining since July this year and the industry was pinning hopes on festival season demand to boost sales.
''This is the steepest decline since December 2000, when car sales in the country dropped 39.86 per cent,'' SIAM director-general Vishnu Mathur said.