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Auto industry expects car sales to pick up after January

The Auto Expo in January is expected be a shot in the arm for carmakers by creating excitement at a time when the car market is witnessing a significant slowdown because of poor sentiment.

With up to 60 new launches, apart from product and brand unveilings scheduled to take place within a span of five days, industry experts feel that car sales may see a lift by January to March next year.

Passenger car sales have dipped 5% between April and October this year, with October (-24%) marking the sharpest slide in 10 years. This has been attributed to negative market sentiment on the back of rising fuel prices, interest rates, as well as an increase in model prices on higher commodity costs.

Mr Abdul Majeed auto practice leader at PwC told Business Line that “The market is not really saturated and this (lower car sales) is a temporary phenomena. People are postponing purchases, not canceling plans to buy cars. The mood is subdued; the industry is going through tough times.”

He added that “New launches create excitement. Coupled with inflation coming down, and a better liquidity situation, we expect better situation by the end of the fourth quarter.”

Mr Sugato Sen senior director at industry body and Expo co organiser Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said that the motor show will bring positive energy into the market. He added that “Two wheelers and commercial vehicles are doing fine; only cars are impacted. This means there is money with customers, but they are not willing to spend. So a push is required, we expect sales to pick up after January.”

While the Delhi Auto Expo 2012 will be the largest-ever in its 25 year history, it is also now touted to be the biggest in Asia. For the first time, all 10 global auto major will be present (French group PSA Peugeot Citroen the last to join), apart from sports and supercar makers Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Maserati.

Around 45 automakers will showcase their model range, some new ones being BMW's Mini brand, BMW Motorrad, Peugeot and Triumph bikes.



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