India’s Auto Boom Goes Bust

Passenger car sales have contracted for 10 straight months, plunging to 115,957 units in August, a 41% drop from the previous year—the biggest decline on record. Automakers are cutting investment and production; hundreds of dealerships have shut down, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Nationwide, job losses in the sector, which employs more than 32 million people directly and indirectly, have climbed to more than 580,000 in the past 18 months, according to estimates from labor unions and auto dealers. R.C. Bhargava, veteran chairman of Suzuki Motor Corp.’s Indian unit, Maruti Suzuki—the country’s largest carmaker—describes the situation as “quite bad” and predicts more job losses for the industry. Maruti’s sales have contracted for seven straight months, and the company said this month it will halt production of passenger cars for two days at two of its plants. Read more