Car sales in India saw their slowest pace of growth in June since March 2009 as rising interest rates and fuel prices force consumers to tighten purse strings in the world’s secondfastest growing auto market after China. Car sales rose 1.6% in June from a year earlier to 143,370, according to SIAM data released on Monday. Sales of trucks and buses, however, a key barometer of economic health, rose 17.8% to 62,009 vehicles in June, while sales of motorcycles rose 15% to 825,323. RBI has raised interest rates ten times since March last year in an effort to battle stubbornly high inflation, a move that has hurt credit-based purchases. The government has raised diesel and petrol prices by about 9% in the past two months, which also deters buyers. Indian car sales, which grew at a breakneck 30% in the fiscal year ended March 2011, are now expected to grow by just 10-12% this fiscal, down from an earlier forecast of 16-18%, the industry group forecast. Car sales growth was dragged down by Maruti Suzuki, which sells nearly half of all passenger cars in India but saw its sales drop by 8.8% to 80,298 vehicles in June, marking its first decline since December 2008. Output at Maruti, majority-owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor, was hurt by a strike last month that led to a production loss of about 16,000 cars. Sales at Tata Motors, India’s largest maker of trucks and buses, fell 1%. Sales of the Nano plunged 29% from a year earlier.