The ongoing consumption slowdown that has gripped the Indian economy dragged down the automobile industry August sales to their lowest level since 1997-98, data showed on Monday.
The August overall sectoral offtake in the domestic market plunged 23.55 per cent. This level of the downturn was witnessed only once earlier, in December of 2000, when the de-growth was registered at 21.81 per cent.
Industry sales have been on a downslide since the last 10 months due to a high GST rate and lack of adequate liquidity.
It had recorded a slump of 18.71 per cent in July, the highest monthly sales de-growth in the last 19 years.
On Monday, data furnished by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), showed that total sales of the Indian automobile sector declined by 23.55 per cent in August to 1,821,490 units, from 2,382,436 units sold during the corresponding month of the previous year.
Passenger car sales in the month under consideration plunged by 41.09 per cent to 115,957 units, against 196,847 units sold in August 2018.
Utility vehicle sales declined by 2.20 per cent to 71,478, whereas vans' offtake went down by 47.36 per cent to 9,089 units against that in the same month a year ago.
Overall, passenger vehicle sales declined by 31.57 per cent in August to 196,524 units against 287,198 units in the corresponding month a year ago.
In the commercial vehicle segment, sales were down by 38.71 per cent to 51,897 units.
The sale of three-wheelers in August declined by 6.93 per cent to 58,818 units.
In the case of two-wheelers, which include scooters, motorcycles and mopeds, the sale edged lower by 22.24 per cent to 1,514,196 units.
However, exports across categories were higher by 2.37 per cent at 421,107 units.
The sales decline has resulted in denting production, causing job losses. The domestic passenger car production has fallen by 28.63 per cent to 182,495 units from 255,717 units.
Similarly, commercial vehicle production has come down by 42.05 per cent to 54,873 units.
Moreover, two-wheeler production has edged lower by 17.08 per cent to 1,858,305 units.