New Delhi: Domestic passenger car sales declined for the third consecutive month in September with a fall of 1.8 percent, mainly due to the severe impact of labour issues on Maruti Suzuki India's production.
    
According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday, domestic passenger car sales stood 1,65,925 units in September against 1,68,959 units in the same month last year.
    
"Maruti produces and sells 50 percent of the market's cars. So, any negative incident happening at Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) will obviously impact the industry," SIAM
President S Sandilya told reporters here.
   
Inflation and high interest rates also continue to be big problems for the industry and it is impacting the cost of finance for both the companies and the customers, he added.
    
In September, MSI's sales declined by 17.76 percent to 66,667 units from 81,060 units in the same month last year.
    
The company has been facing labour problems at its Manesar plant since June this year and the production have been either completely stopped or partially impacted there.
    
Rival Hyundai Motor posted a 12.62 percent increase in sales to 35,757 units in September this year from 31,751 units in the same period last year.
    
Tata Motors also reported a 2.19 percent jump in sales to 21,011 units in September this year from 20,560 units in the same period last year.
    
Domestic passenger car sales had fallen in July for the first time after 30 months of continuous growth, registering a 15.76 percent decline to 1,33,747 units, mainly due to hikes in lending rates and lower production by market leader MSI in that month.
    
In August too, car sales dipped by 10.08 percent to 1,44,516 units, impacted by high interest rates and production cuts by MSI.
    
Talking about the festive season and sales in October, Sandilya said: "In this festive season, I don't expect a significant boost for the car segment. However, there may be marginal growth in car sales in the current month."

(Agencies)