MUMBAI – India’s passenger-vehicle sales increased 16.7% to 138,504 units in October, as new models and heavy discounts offset the country’s severe credit crunch. Utility-vehicle deliveries rose 25.4% to 23,269, also contributing to October’s strong results. The Reserve Bank has so tightened the anti-inflationary screws that real interest rates on auto financing now hover at a 5-year high of 16%. Lack of liquidity in the banking system and fear of defaults in auto and home loans have cut ...

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