Auto firms put up a brave face despite falling sales

Mumbai: The auto sector has braved the slowdown and weathered the fuel storm despite sales hitting the brakes in July, says the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Sales of passenger cars declined by around 1.7 per cent in July over the same period last year, but the production in on track, says SIAM.

As many as seven of the 13 major carmakers reported negative growth in sales in July. The big losers were Tata Motors, India's third-largest carmaker, whose sales dropped 8.9 per cent to 12,012 and Honda Siel Cars India, the fourth-largest carmaker, whose tally fell 7 per cent to 4,006 units in July.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a minuscule 0.1 per cent increase in sales at 52,911 in July. Arch rival South Korean major Hyundai grew 0.5 per cent to 15,066 in July over last year.

Passenger vehicles sales growth dipped to 10.97 per cent for the first four months from 15 per cent growth in the first three.

The passenger car market in India, which witnessed an average double-digit growth in the last two and a half years, saw sales dip 1.71 per cent to 87,724 units in July this year against 89,250 units in the same month last year.