Nirmala Sitharaman says millennials prefer Uber, Ola, not buying cars: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday held responsible the changing mindset of millennials for the ongoing slowdown in the auto sales, reports said. While addressing the media in Chennai, the finance minister said that along with blaming the higher taxes, the changing mindset of people who prefer cab services like Ola, Uber and public transportation over their private vehicles, is one of the several reasons for the hurtling downfall.

She noted that the automobile industry did really well in the past couple of years, adding the transition to Bharat Stage VI emission norms and a higher registration fee could have affected the upward trajectory of the sector. When asked about the auto sector’s demand for a GST rate cut, the finance minister denied making a comment on what would be considered at the GST Council meeting. The meeting is scheduled to take place on September 20.

The GST Council is expected to consider the GST rate cut on the automobile sector. She further assured that the government was considering more measures to strengthen the automobile sector, adding the problem was also understood and to be solved soon.

A data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday underscored the sales of passenger vehicles fell 31.6 per cent year-on-year to 196,524 units in August. This was the lowest ever since SIAM started recoding data i.e. 1997-98. Apart from that, the two-wheeler economy also dropped by 22.24 per cent to 1,514,196 units against 1,947,304 units in the same period last year.

While Honda Cars India and Tata Motors had reported selling less than half of the units they sold in 2018, the market leader Maruti Suzuki had reported a 36 per cent YOY decline. It has sold 93,173 units in August against 1,45,895 units last year. Hyundai stated to sell 38,205 units in August against 45,801 units last month, making a 17 per cent decline in sales.

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