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Car Sales in India Fall 7%

Wholesale deliveries of new passenger cars in India dropped to 131,200 units from 141,600 units in July 2012, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers reports. July marked the ninth straight month of year-over-year declines.

Indian demand for SUVs, which soared 52% in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, unexpectedly plunged 18% to in July. It was the segment’s first sales drop in four years. The country’s government boosted excise taxes on SUVs by three percentage points to 30% in March.

Deliveries of all passenger vehicles, including SUVs and minivans, shrank 8% last month. SIAM blames the slump on India’s weak economy, high interest rates and steep fuel prices.

Sales of commercial vehicles contracted 15% to 55,300 units.

Car volume jumped 11% to 63,000 units at market leader Maruti Suzuki. But demand slid 6% to 25,900 units at Hyundai and plunged 60% to 8,500 units at Tata and 30% to 14,500 units at Mahindra.