India car sales rise despite high interest rates and slowing growth
A traffic jam following power outage and rains at the Delhi-Gurgaon road on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo)
Published Thursday, August 9, 2012 9:33AM EDT
MUMBAI, India - A trade group says Indian car sales rose 6.7 per cent in July despite high interest rates and fuel prices.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers says car sales in India hit 143,496 vehicles in July, up from a low base this time last year. Commercial vehicle sales rose just 1.2 per cent, as slowing economic growth stunted demand.
Sales to India's cost-conscious consumers were helped by the popularity of diesel models. The price of diesel is regulated and kept much lower than gasoline prices in India. New Delhi has been under intense pressure to hike diesel prices to reduce the fiscal deficit. That would be a blow to the nation's beleaguered automakers.
The director general of the automaker group, Vishnu Mathur, says "consumer sentiments are down."