Car sales in India grew 1.53 per cent in June, the slowest in five months, with industry body SIAM singling out annual plant maintenance shutdowns putting the brakes on growth.
The maintenance work at top auto makers such as Maruti Suzuki India and Toyota Kirloskar Motor is seen to have slowed the overall pace.
The motorcycle segment, which has been reeling under a slump due to poor rural demand, inched marginally towards the positive territory for the first time in eight months.
According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales in June this year stood at 1,62,677 units against 1,60,232 in the year-ago month.
“The low growth of passenger cars was due to annual maintenance closure of companies like Maruti and Toyota falling together during the last month,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
Car sales have been slowly picking up over the past few months with improvement in consumer sentiment, but the growth rate in June was slowest since January this year when sales grew just 3.14 per cent.
Industry players have pointed out that there has been a slowdown from April to June this year as negative sentiment in the run-up to monsoon and postponement of purchases by customers waiting for lower interest rates affected demand.
Mathur said overall passenger vehicles sales were impacted during the month due to negative performance of vans and utility vehicles.
Total passenger vehicles were down 0.54 per cent in June at 2,17,642 units, from 2,18,828 during the year-ago period.
Motorcycle sales last month rose marginally to 8,77,696 units, from 8,77,289 a year earlier.
“The motorcycle segment is still facing pressure from slowdown in rural areas. Last month, however, the sales have grown marginally,” Mathur said.
The last time motorcycles sales were in the positive territory was in September 2014 when it grew 19.34 per cent.
Total two-wheeler sales in June rose 3.55 per cent to 13,07,710 units.
On the commercial vehicle segment, SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen said: “There was a mixed kind of performance in the commercial vehicle segment last month. While M&HCV segment did quite well, LCVs continued to remain in the negative.”
The mixed performance of medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) and light commercial vehicle (LCV) segments led to a marginal jump in total commercial vehicles in June, he added.
Sales of commercial vehicles rose marginally to 51,446 units in June.