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India's passenger vehicle sales drop at steepest pace in nearly two decades

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:31s - Published < > Embed
India's passenger vehicle sales drop at steepest pace in nearly two decades

India's passenger vehicle sales drop at steepest pace in nearly two decades

India's vehicle sales dived in July, highlighting a deepening crisis in a car sector that employs over 35 million people.

David Pollard reports.

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India's passenger vehicle sales drop at steepest pace in nearly two decades

Big this industry is.

Employing over 35 million people, India's car sector accounts for half its manufacturing output.

But its problems are no small fry either.

Passenger car sales plunged 31 per cent in July That's according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers ..

Which on Thursday, made a plea for help.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR GENERAL, SOCIETY OF INDIAN AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS (SIAM), VISHNU MATHUR, SAYING: "The industry is doing all it can to promote sales but I think this is a time when the industry really needs support of government to come out with a revival package." Industry bosses regard a recent downturn as the worst ever.

Honda, Tata and Mahindra & Mahindra are among those to have decided on brief halts to production to deal with the problems: A financing crunch and slowing demand for cars top of that list.

Now, nine straight months of falling sales could threaten deeper pain In the industry - and beyond.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR GENERAL, SOCIETY OF INDIAN AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS (SIAM), VISHNU MATHUR, SAYING: "If this industry goes down everything gets hurt, the employment gets hurt, the manufacturing GDP gets hurt, the revenues to the government gets hurt." 350,000 industry jobs are gone since April, according to a top industry source.

After a landslide election win, Narendra Modi and his government are fresh to a second term.

But India's jobless rate is on the rise - its growth rate, already at a 5-year low, in danger of further falls.

The prime minister just one of many who need a turnaround in an industry's fortunes.



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