Several sources said that slowing sales of cars and motorcycles led to large-scale job cuts in the auto sector, forcing many companies to close factories. A senior industry source told Reuters that preliminary estimates suggest the automaker, component manufacturer and dealer has laid off about 350,000 workers since April.

An industry source said that according to this already released figure, car and motorcycle manufacturers outnumbered 15,000 and component manufacturers at less than 100,000, with job losses remaining to dealers, many of whom closed. Are, industry sources said.

Reuters was able to identify at least five companies that have recently planned to cut hundreds of jobs, mainly from their temporary labor force.

The recession – considered by industry officials as the worst-case scenario by the auto industry – is a major challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Senior industry officials said that to revive the sector, auto executives, in a meeting with finance ministry officials scheduled for Wednesday, demanded tax cuts and easier access for both dealers and consumers. The industry’s plight was highlighted by the industry’s Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), with Vinni Mehta, director-general of the Board of Trade, stating that the sector is facing a “recession”.

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The type and components of the vehicle industry, as well as geographically in the manufacturing centers of the country, are spreading uneasiness to most of the industry. For example, auto components manufacturers, including Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha Motor and France’s Valeo and Subros, have laid off about 1,700 temporary workers in India following a sales slowdown, sources told Reuters. Subros, which is part of Japan’s Denso Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp, hires 800 employees.

Domestic parts maker Wee Gee Kaushiko has cut 500 people while Yamaha and Valeo have reduced their workforce by 200 in the past month, with several sources aware of the cuts

Meanwhile, automotive supplier Wheels India is likely to cut its temporary workforce by 800 and has started realizing its shifts, sources said. Sources said the layoffs included carmakers including Honda Motor, Tata Motors, and Mahindra & Mahindra. The auto sector, which contributes more than 7 percent of the country’s GDP, is facing its worst decline.

Passenger vehicle sales have plummeted for nine straight months through July, with some automakers suffering from year-over-year declines, up more than 30 percent in recent months. Mr. Mehta of ACMA said that manpower is the only variable factor for companies and more workers will face the ax. Yamaha, Subros, VG Kaushiko, and Wheels India did not respond to requests for comment.

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