Apr 18, 2014, 6:49 am (BST)
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India's Maruti sees 18.5% fall in monthly sales
MUMBAI, Dec 1 (BSS/AFP) - India's biggest auto maker Maruti Suzuki today said monthly sales for November fell 18.5 percent, as demand for cars slowed due to rising fuel costs and high interest rates.

The company, majority owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp, said it sold a total of 91,772 vehicles last month, down from 112,554 in the same period last year.

The figure represents the sixth straight year-on-year monthly fall in car sales for Maruti, which has been dogged by a series of crippling labour disputes at one of its plants in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

In October, sales slumped more than half -- its worst monthly figures in a decade.

The disputes erupted as Maruti battled to boost its market share, which has shrunk in the past four years from 55 percent to 38 percent, as other global auto giants seek a foothold in India's vehicle market.

Car sales have been slowing in India due to high borrowing costs.

Prices have risen on the back of steeper commodity prices and 13 interest rate hikes by the central bank since March 2010 to tame near double-digit inflation, analysts say.
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