India car sales post first fall in 10 years

AFP-JIJI

India’s passenger car sales shrank for the first time in a decade, falling 6.7 percent in the year to March, hit by a slowing economy and high interest rates, a top industry body said Wednesday.

Passenger car sales in the once-booming market fell to 1.89 million units in the financial year to March, from 2.43 million the previous year, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said. Sales in March alone plunged 22.5 percent year on year, SIAM said.

Asia’s third-largest economy is estimated to have grown by 5 percent in the financial year to March 2013, the slowest for a decade. The last time annual car sales shrank was in 2002-03, SIAM said.