Mumbai: Sales by commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland Ltd in February more than halved from a year ago as a sliding economy put a brake on industrial activity and the movement of goods.
Sales of trucks and buses dived 57% to 3,245 units in the month, the firm said on Wednesday. But that was up a third from January after the government lowered factory gate duties.
Earlier in the week, rival Tata Motors Ltd reported a similar trend, with sales dipping an annual 25% in February, recovering some ground from a sharper 43% contraction in the month before.
“Commercial vehicle sales are linked to the economic activity of the country, which, data shows, has slowed down,” said Vaishali Jajoo, an autos analyst with Angel Broking Ltd in Mumbai.
“Maybe there might be some increase month-on-month but on a year-on-year basis it will take some time to recover.”
India’s economy expanded 5.3% in the last quarter of 2008, its slowest pace in almost six years, as the global slump ate away at domestic demand and exports, and credit remained tight.
Shares in Ashok Leyland fell 1.52% to Rs16.25, on a day when the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark index, Sensex, rose 0.23%. The sector index rose 0.92%.