India passenger vehicle sales up 14% in August – industry body

FILE PHOTO: Cars are seen parked at Maruti Suzuki’s plant at Manesar, in Haryana, India, August 11, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/File photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Total passenger vehicle sales in India rose 14.16% in August, showing some signs of economic recovery as industries restart operations months after a coronavirus-led lockdown disrupted a sector already hit by poor demand.

Indians bought a total of 215,916 cars, utility vehicles and vans in August, compared with 189,129 a year earlier, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on Friday.

“We are beginning to observe growth, which is instilling confidence back into the industry,” SIAM President Kenichi Ayukawa said in a statement.

The upcoming festive season, which culminates in Diwali and sees a majority of Indians making big ticket purchases, will help with a faster revival in demand, another executive said.

Two-wheeler sales – widely seen as an indicator of the health of the rural economy – rose 3% from a year earlier.

In July, passenger vehicle sales had fallen almost 4% and an executive from an industry body had warned that auto sales were not expected to return to peak levels seen in 2018 for another three or four years..

Passenger car sales, which do not include utility vehicles and vans, were down 12.02% in July.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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