Reports in India say that India’s car market dropped sharply in April as elections disrupted demand.

With just 246,000 units sold, the car market was 17% down in the month – the biggest monthly year-on-year decline since October 2011.

Local media reports say that the decline was largely attributable to India’s elections and the associated uncertainties causing car buyers to pause on purchasing.

Carmakers in India have faced several headwinds and challenges in the early part of the year. Changes to insurance premiums have led to increases in the ‘on the road’ price of new vehicles. Companies have also stated rising commodity prices as one of the major disruptions which led to an increase in prices.

Analysts also say that higher oil prices – as a result of new restrictions on imports of oil from Iran – could dampen car sales further in the months ahead, despite a possible rebound due to lower political uncertainties when the general election is over.

India’s light vehicle market has been running at around 3.5m units a year and some analysts say that weight of population and higher car density as incomes rise should see it rise to circa 6-8m by the mid-2020s. However, others caution that the rapidly rising ride-hail market could disrupt that projection.