New Delhi:

The auto sales in the country remain depressed in the month of August.


Auto industry body SIAM sought immediate steps from the government, including reduction in GST rates and initiation of scrappage policy, as sales continued to plummet with passenger vehicle makers witnessing a decline of 30 per cent offtake in August. 

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said even the commercial vehicle and two-wheeler sales are significantly negative indicating that the market has still not responded to the various measures initiated by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last month. 


"All this while, the industry has pulled out all the stops in offering attractive deals and discounts to the consumers. 


"However, the ability of the industry to provide large discounts is limited and this only highlights the need for government to consider reducing the GST rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent which would significantly reduce the cost of vehicles and, in turn, create demand," SIAM President Rajan Wadhera said in a statement. 


There is also an urgent need to come out with an integrated incentive-based scrappage policy covering all segments of the automobile industry as promised by the FM,he said. 


"The festival season is around the corner, it is imperative that these decisions are taken quickly and announced without delay so that the industry could hope for a better festival season that could harbinger a recovery in the industry," Wadhera said. 


The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki today reported a 35.9% decline in domestic sales at 94,728 units in August.While the utility vehicle segment saw an increase of 3.1 per cent, the real pain point for India's largest car maker is the plummeting sales in its affordable car segment. Sales of mini cars Alto and old WagonR crashed 71.8% to 10,123 units compared to 35,895 units sold in the same period of the previous year.


Reeling under severe slowdown, Maruti Suzuki India reduced its production by 33.99 per cent in August, making it the seventh straight month that the country's largest car maker reduced its output. 


The company produced a total of 1,11,370 units in August as against 1,68,725 units in the year-ago month, Maruti Suzuki.


Those of compact cars (Baleno, Celerio, Swift, DZire, Ignis, new WagonR) declined 23.9% to 54,274 units. Wholesale volumes of midsize sedan Ciaz went down 77.2% to 1,596 units.Sales of Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and S-Cross going up by 3.1% to 18,522 units.

Home grown auto major Tata Motors  on Sunday reported a 58 per cent decline in its domes tic passenger vehicle sales at 7,316 units in August. The company had sold 17,351 units in the same month last year, Tata Motors said in a statement.


Commenting on the sales performance, Tata Motors President Passenger Vehicles Business Unit Mayank Pareek said the market continued to be challenging, but the company has focused on improving its retail sales, which saw an uptick of 42 per cent.


In the commercial vehicles segment, Tata Motors said its total sales were down 45 per cent at 21,824 units last month as against 39,859 units in August 2018.


Tata Motors President, Commercial Vehicles Business Unit Girish Wagh said subdued demand sentiment due to poor freight availability, lower freight rates and general slowdown in economy continued to hamper demand of commercial vehicles.


"System stock reduction through retail focus and aligning production will continue to be our approach, while cautiously monitoring the market in these challenging times," he said, adding as a result, retail sales are estimated to be ahead of wholesale by over 25 per cent in August.


Another homegrown auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) on Sunday reported a 25 per cent fall in total sales to 36,085 units in August.


The company had sold 48,324 units in the corresponding month last year, M&M said in a statement.


In the domestic market, sales were down 26 per cent to 33,564 units last month, compared to 45,373 units in August 2018.Exports declined 15 per cent to 2,521 units, against 2,951 in the year-ago month.


In the passenger vehicle segment, which includes utility vehicles, cars and vans, the company sold 13,507 units last month as compared to 19,758 vehicles in the same month of 2018, a drop of 32 per cent.


In the commercial vehicle segment, the company sold 14, 684 vehicles as against 20,326 units a year ago, down 28 per cent.


"The auto industry continues to be subdued in the month of August due to several external factors. We are optimistic and hopeful of a good festive season going ahead," M&M Chief of Sales and Marketing, Automotive Division Veejay Ram Nakra said.


Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) on Sunday reported a 51.28 per cent decline in domestic sales at 8,291 units in August as against 17,020 units in the same month last year.


The company also exported 227 units last month.


"The auto sector continues to witness high de-growth due to poor consumer sentiment," HCIL Senior Vice President and Director, Sales and Marketing Rajesh Goel said in a statement.


This is despite the high discounts prevailing in the market which makes it the best time to buy cars, he added.


"We hope the recent measures taken by the government will help in improving consumer sentiment and demand creation as we move forward. With the impending festive season, the sales are likely to pick-up in coming months," Goel said,


VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd, a Volvo Group and Eicher Motors joint venture, on Sunday reported a 41.7 per cent decline in total sales at 3,538 units in August.


The company had sold 6,069 units in August last year, VE Commercial Vehicles Ltd (VECV) said in a statement


Eicher branded trucks and buses recorded sales of 3,462 units in August as compared to 5,948 units in the same month last year, a decline of 41.8 per cent, it added.