Retail Auto Sales Fall To  20-Month Low In August 
Mechanics clean a car at the Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. showroom in Mumbai. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg News)

Retail Auto Sales Fall To 20-Month Low In August 

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Retail auto sales in August dipped to a 20-month low as buyers stayed away despite heavy discounts and financing continued to be tight.

Vehicle registrations, a measure of sales at dealerships, fell 16.8 percent month-on-month and 10.8 percent on a yearly basis in August, according to data from 1,171 regional transport offices in 31 states and union territories collated by BloombergQuint from the website of the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.

From 20.8 lakh units in November 2018, sales have tumbled to 14.89 lakh units in August. The numbers reflect vehicles sold after all payments and statutory dues and insurance costs, and excludes bookings.

The auto sector is battling its worst slump in a decade amid falling consumption and financing crunch in a slowing economy. Heavy discounts ahead of the festival season didn’t help.

Except for tractor volumes that showed marginal gain because of a lower base in August, registrations of all other categories declined over the previous year and sequentially.

Two wheeler sales at dealerships fell 17 percent month-on-month and declined 9.9 percent on a yearly basis in August.

Sales of cars and utility vehicles tumbled 17.5 percent sequentially and 19.3 percent on a year earlier.

Tractor sales fell 12.7 percent month-on-month but rose 1.5 percent on a yearly basis. The marginal uptick came on the back of a favourable base effect as the volumes had declined in August 2018.

Commercial vehicles volumes continue to decline for the fifth straight month. Registrations fell 16.5 percent sequentially and declined 14.9 percent on a yearly basis in August.

Three-wheeler volumes fell 13.8 percent on a monthly basis and 4 percent over a year earlier.

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