Car sales in India plunged by 19.4% in November, raising fears about the outlook for sales in 2009 and overcapacity among local producers. A softer market is already leading to widespread price cuts in an effort to maintain volume.


Data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also showed that sales of trucks and buses slumped by nearly half from a year ago.


“In our history, all segments have never been down so badly together in a month,” SIAM’s director general, Dilip Chenoy, told reporters.


Car sales in November fell an annual 19.4% to 83,059 units. Commercial vehicle sales were 20,637 units – 49.5% below the same month last year.


“The biggest issue is finance,” Chenoy said.


Credit availability is a problem for dealers in India wanting to buy stock, as well as for consumer finance provision.


In a bid to reduce rising inventories before the year ends, automakers are expected to aggressively push sales, resulting in higher discounts this December and the possibility that December’s sales total won’t be as bad as November’s.