India's Car Market Offers No Relief for Automakers

As sales plunge, Indian auto plants are slashing production, cutting shifts, and putting joint ventures on hold
In Chennai in southern India, Hyundai Motors has begun keeping its factory closed for a day every week to rationalize production costs. DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images

Until a year ago, India (India) was the fastest-growing automotive market in the world. Today the $33.3 billion Indian auto industry has slumped to an eight-year low. November was particularly bruising as passenger car sales skidded 19%, to 83,079, down from 103,031 a year ago. Trucks sales plunged by half, the worst in 10 years, according to the latest data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). "The complete lack of consumer finance and high interest rates [are] putting off consumers from buying vehicles," says Dilip Chenoy, executive director of SIAM.

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