Following on the heels of the American auto majors (GM, Ford and Chrysler), the Indian auto industry has fallen on hard times, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Of course, we are thrilled because we are big supporters of public transportation.
Here’s an excerpt from the WSJ piece (subscription required):
India’s local car sales in October had their biggest percentage decline in more than three years as higher rates on loans and increased fuel costs crimped demand for vehicles from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co.
Sales in the past month slid 6.6% to 98,900 cars from 105,877 a year earlier, according to data issued Monday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. It was the biggest drop in monthly car sales since an 11% fall in July 2005.
Some big-name foreign auto makers were hard-hit, with Ford’s sales in India falling 50% and Honda’s plunging 75%. The overall decline in October sales was the third monthly decrease — after drops of 1.7% in July and 4.4% in August — in the current fiscal year to March 31, 2009.
Greater investment in public transportation is the key to solving many of the problems bedevilling us like pollution, purchase of oil from despots, road rage and increasing debt of the middle class.