UPDATE1: India Diwali festival vehicle sales drop 11% y/y on fuel price rise, tighter auto loans

27, Nov. 2018

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NEW DELHI, NNA – New vehicle sales in India during the Diwali festival season fell 11% from last year’s season due to rising fuel prices and tightened auto loans.

This prompted the auto industry to ask the government and central bank to help improve liquidity in lending by non-bank financial institutions.

The number of newly registered vehicles in the world’s fourth largest auto market fell to 2,049,391 units during the season from Oct. 10th to Nov. 20, according to data from the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association, which covers 80 percent of dealerships in the country.

Sales of passenger cars dropped 14 percent to 287,717 units while those of motorcycles declined 13 percent to 1,583,276.

In contrast, sales of commercial vehicles grew 16 percent to 119,597 units, while those of tricycles increased 10 percent to 58,801 units.

Passenger car sales during the annual festival season account for around one fifth of full-year sales, according to India’s largest research firm, Crisil Ltd., owned by Standard & Poor's.

Crisil attributed lackluster passenger car sales to higher borrowing costs and insurance premiums. The slump also came between new models.

The research firm revised its full-year passenger car sales growth forecast down to a range of 7 percent to 9 percent from a previous range of 9 percent to 11 percent.