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Indian Carmakers Seek Tax Break as Sales Plunge

Car sales in India fell more than 30% in August, and manufacturers are pleading with the government for an immediate tax cut.
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Car sales in India fell more than 30% in August, and manufacturers are pleading with the government for an immediate tax cut.

The Society of Automotive Manufacturers notes that steps announced late last month by India’s finance minister to bolster bank loans failed to impact sales. Year-on-year demand has now declined for 10 consecutive months.

SIAM is asking the government to immediately cut the general sales tax on passenger vehicles to 18% from 28%. The trade group also cites an “urgent” need for the finance ministry to deliver a promised incentive-based scrappage plan covering all sectors of the auto industry.

Passenger car sales in India for the fiscal year ended March 31 rose 3% to 3.37 million units, according to SIAM. But demand has been trailing year-earlier volumes since December. Market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which slashed production 34% last month—its seventh cutback in as many months—reports a 33% drop in August sales.

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