Non-small car sales take a pre-budget hit

New Delhi: Big car sales have taken a huge hit.

There is a widespread anticipation for the reduction of excise duty on bigger cars as part of the Union Budget 2008-09. Also, the excitement in the market pending the launch of new products in forthcoming months has made buyers stay away for the showrooms, for now.

Reports indicate that there has been a 44.32 per cent decline in sales in January. According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), sales of premium cars such as Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Skoda Superb and Daimler Chrysler E-Class have headed south, reducing their offtake to 353 units, against 634 units sold last January.

Industry sources indicate that with the Union Budget 2008-09 expected to reduce excise duty on larger cars from 24 cent to 16 per cent, which amounts to a fairly significant bundle of cash, even for affluent customers.

Cars such as the eighth generation Honda Accord, and the new Toyota Corolla are expected to be launched in the Indian market sometime around March 2008, prompting prospective car buyers to wait and watch.