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Weighed down by chip shortage, India's passenger vehicle sales fell by a massive 41% when compared with the same period a year earlier, auto industry group Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on Thursday.

The passenger vehicle segment consists of domestic cars and sport-utility vehicle (SUV). The semiconductor crunch and high commodity prices exacerbated problems for automakers, SIAM said.

Production was also lower by about 37%.

"While on the one hand, we are seeing a revival in vehicle demand, on the other hand, shortage of semi-conductor chips is causing a major concern for the industry," said Kenichi Ayukawa, president of the SIAM.

The chip shortage has forced several companies to curtail production in the run-up to a month-long festive season in India, starting this month, during which people typically make big-ticket purchases, including vehicles.

The lower production has increased the waiting time for buyers, said Ayukawa, who is also managing director of Maruti Suzuki, India's biggest carmaker.

Total domestic passenger vehicle sales in September fell to 160,070 units from 272,027 units a year ago while sales of motorcycles and scooters fell to 1.5 million units from 1.8 million units over the same period, SIAM said.

Scooter sales were also down 7% at 5,17,239 units from 5,56,205 units a year ago.

Vehicle sales across categories last month declined year-on-year by 20% to 17,17,728 units from 21,40,549 units.

In the July-September quarter, passenger vehicle wholesales, however, witnessed a marginal increase of 2% to 7,41,300 units as compared with 7,26,232 units in the same period of last fiscal.

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