Motorcycle demand drops in India

New Delhi, August 9:

Vehicle sales in India fell by 5.7 per cent between April and July compared with a year ago, an industry lobby group said, as demand for motorbikes and trucks waned on higher credit costs.

Domestic auto sales, which cover passenger cars, trucks, two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws, fell to 2.96 million in the first four months of the financial year from 3.14 million a year earlier, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said.

Despite the overall downturn, passenger car sales jumped by 12.6 per cent to 464,786 and scooter sales were up by 17.2 per cent to 344,006.

On the losing side, there was a 15.1 per cent decline in motorbike sales to 1.75 million while truck sales fell by almost 11 per cent to 61,348. Indian banks have cut back on loans to buyers of motorbikes, crimping sales growth in the world’s second-largest

two-wheeler market as the central bank has hiked interest rates to dampen inflation.

Easy bank credit, new models, deficient public transport and rising oil prices had sparked a boom over the past several years in vehicle sales, especially for motobike.