Auto sector riding a storm, massive dip in sales

HYDERABAD: Demonetisation has severely affected the automobile business in the city with several dealers saying that there has been a nearly 50 per cent drop in footfall and sales in the last 15 days.

After the ban on 500 and 1,000 notes, sales of cars as well as two-wheelers have seen a massive dip in the city. Officials at several dealerships said mid-size and small car segments have felt the pinch the most.

Outlining some of the causes for the slack in sales, R Jagdeesh, MD of Autologic Motors, dealer for Renault in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, said, “There have been transactional delays on account of demonetisation. Banks have been delaying clearing of loans due to which vehicle deliveries have got affected. While there was a steep drop in walk-ins in the first few days of demonetisation, things are gradually picking up now.”

Representatives of top manufacturers Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai did not confirm a drop in production, but said there was a noticeable delay in registrations and down payments made for new cars. “Post-demonetisation, the number enquiries for down payment options have dropped considerably. Also those buying new cars are not opting for accessories due to ongoing cash crunch,” said a dealer of Maruti cars in Hyderabad on condition of anonymity.
Industry sources said that dealers and car companies were “not willing to take a chance” so close to the end of the year, and hence retail outlets were not being burdened with large inventories.

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