Sales of medium and heavy trucks in India fell 30% in November, the steepest drop since the global financial crisis peaked in 2008-09.
The Economic Times of India said slowing industrial activity, curbs on mining and delayed infrastructure projects forced buyers to postpone purchases which have fallen to their lowest since March 2009, despite the highest ever discounts available.
Tata, India’s largest truckmaker, reported a 40% year on year drop for November with sales of 9,495 units compared with over 16,000 units.
The company said it was operating at 70-75% of capacity to avoid an inventory pile-up. Suppliers say there is underused capacity of around 30-35% across the sector.
Dealers told ET November was one of the worst months in a long time and the outlook remains bleak for December. Despite big discounts and 100% finance, trucks are not selling.
It is thought that sales may not pick up until the second half of 2013.
The mining ban in India has taken a big toll on medium and heavy duty tipper truck sales because major iron ore, sand and coal mines remain closed.
As well as heavy discounting, Tata and Ashok Leyland have started aggressive advertising.
In the current fiscal year from April to October, medium and heavy duty truck sales fell 17.67% to 133,000 units. For the first seven months, Tata sales dropped 23.10%.