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India's monthly passenger vehicle sales log worst-ever drop in August

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India's monthly passenger vehicle sales log worst-ever drop in August

A sales executive speaks on his mobile phone as he stands in between Maruti Suzuki cars inside a showroom in New Delhi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's monthly passenger vehicle and car sales recorded their steepest fall ever in August, according to data released by an industry body on Monday, highlighting the continued slowdown in the sector amid assurances by the government for revival.

Passenger vehicle sales plunged 31.57% year-on-year to 196,524 units in August, falling for the 10th straight month, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data showed, while passenger car sales fell 41.09% to 115,957 units.

This is the worst-ever fall for both the categories since SIAM started recording the data in 1997-98.

Auto companies' heads urged New Delhi to revive the sector, crippled by sluggish demand resulting in hundreds of thousands of job cuts, at a conference last week.

Road and Transport minister Nitin Gadkari assured them that the government was working to help the sector and said he had asked the finance ministry to consider cutting taxes on petrol and diesel, as well as hybrid vehicles.


(Reporting by Aditi Shah in NEW DELHI; Writing by Derek Francis; Editing by Rashmi Aich)