The red and white balloons taped to the ceiling at this Renault showroom in Delhi belie the subdued mood that has set in here in the last few months. Sales of new cars at this showroom have fallen by around a quarter. “People do not want to let go of their savings to buy a car. It could be because of pollution concerns or the terrible traffic situation that makes them unwilling to drive,” says Mr Amarjeet Kumar Mandal, a finance manager at the showroom. His concern mirrors a larger worrying trend in the world’s fourth-largest car market where sales have been plummeting for around a year now. Fresh data released last week by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) shows the sale of passenger vehicles declined by 18.42 per cent in the April-to-June quarter this year, compared with the same period last year. It was the sharpest decline since a 23.1 per cent drop in the third quarter of financial year 2000-2001. Passenger cars fared even worse, with a 23.32 per cent drop in sales. Other segments, including commercial vehicles, three-wheelers like auto rickshaws and tuktuks, and two-wheelers like scooters, motorcycles and e-bikes, also registered declines in the… Read full this story
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