Sales of cars in India have registered their sixth drop in seven months according to data out today, as credit for car purchases has become hard to come by.

Figures from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed that 110,212 units were sold in January 2009 compared to 113,894 sold a year earlier, a 3.2% drop.

The Indian car market has been hit by the unwillingness of institutions to loan money, which has curtailed potential buyers' financing options,

Earlier this month, it was reported that passenger car market leader Maruti Suzuki and motorcycle giant Hero Honda both reported sales growth in January but almost all other companies from leading exporter Hyundai to Bajaj Auto remained in the red.

Hyundai and Tata Motors posted 13.5% and 8.9% declines respectively.

Utility vehicle specialist Mahindra & Mahindra posted a 21% drop in January total vehicle sales to 17,611 units.