Overall car sales in India fell for the fourth straight month in January 2014 by 7.59 per cent, which has now promoted Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to seek government intervention in the upcoming Budget 2014-15. As per the car sales data released by SIAM, domestic car sales stood at 1,60,289 units in January 2014 , whereas the domestic car sales in the same month last year was 1,73,449 units. The commercial vehicles segment too, which includes heavy and medium CVs, saw sales dip for the 23rd consecutive month.
"The downward trend continues. There is no respite for the auto industry. We are having a huge hope from the government that in the vote-on-account Budget, there will be some support for the auto industry," SIAM deputy director general Sugato Sen said in a statement. He said the situation now is worse than that in 2008-09, when the government had provided relief to the industry with policy support.” We are hoping that there will be reduction in excise duty. For the CV segment, we have been asking for a fleet modernisation scheme and also implementation of load management," Sen said but did not specify the exact amount of excise duty cut the industry body was expecting.
Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel has also reportedly, written to the Finance Ministry seeking reduction in excise duty on CVs to 8 per cent from 12 per cent. At present, automobiles attract excise duty ranging from 12 to 30 per cent. Here's hoping that the interim Union Budget scheduled for April 2014 will bring the much need respite to the sinking auto industry.