Car sales witness moderate increase in July; two-wheelers up
New Delhi: Car sales in India witnessed moderate growth during July with major manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors reporting rise in their monthly numbers amid a difficult market condition.
Other car makers, including General Motors, Ford and Honda Siel, saw decline in their sales during last month.
Two-wheeler makers such as Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Suzuki Motorcycle reported rise their sales in July.
The lockout at its Manesar plant notwithstanding, the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its domestic sales in last month stood at 71,024 units compared to 66,504 units in July last year, up 6.80 percent.
On July 21, MSI had announced a lockout at its Manesar plant following violence and arson, in which a senior company official was killed and 100 others were injured.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded sales of 27,585 units compared to 25,642 units in the year-ago period, a growth of 7.58 percent.
"The overall market demand is suppressed due to general inflationary trend, high fuel prices and interest rates. Unless any major triggers get activated, market sentiment is not expected to improve very much," HMIL Vice-President (National Sales) Rakesh Srivastava said.
Homegrown Tata Motors' passenger vehicles sales were higher by 52.63 percent to 26,240 units in July from 17,192 units sold in the same month last year. Its total sales during the month went up by 15.26 percent to 73,491 units from 63,761 units in the year-ago period.
Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra's domestic sales stood at 42,799 units during the month against 37,323 units in July 2011, up 14.67 percent.
"We are happy to have achieved a growth...During July 2012 in spite of difficult and uncertain market conditions continuing... A cut in interest rates would have helped lower the cost of manufacturing and product, thereby improving industry confidence," M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said.
Another car maker Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a 7 percent increase in its sales at 14,574 units during July as against 13,592 units in the same month last year.
"We have registered a growth this month based on the strength of Innova and Fortuner sales. The Innova and Fortuner sales continue to grow with the increase in production.
"There has been a drop in sales of the Etios series, as we exported 1,488 units to South Africa," TKM Deputy Managing Director Marketing Sandeep Singh said.
Nissan Motor India said its sales for July increased by over two-fold at 3,481 units. It had witnessed sales of 1,593 units in the same month last year.
However, General Motors India posted 23.38 percent decline in sales at 7,285 units in July compared to 9,508 units sold in the same month of 2011.
"The sales are not on the expected lines as the market continues to remain sluggish due to high interest rates, high fuel prices and various other factors. With market sentiments continuing to remain depressed, we are not expecting the market to show any improvement before the festival season," General Motors India Vice President P Balendran said.
Car maker Ford India's domestic sales declined by 16.89 percent to 6,236 units from 7,504 units in July 2011.
Honda Siel Cars India reported 7.17 percent decline in its sales for July at 4,386 units. It had sold 4,725 units in the same month last year.
In the two-wheeler segment, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported 56.90 percent growth in total sales for July at 2,39,094 units as against 1,52,382 units in the same month of the previous year.
Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) witnessed 48.76 percent increase in sales in July 2012 at 40,295 units compared to 27,088 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on the sale growth, SMIPL Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Atul Gupta said: "We have received a good response from the market for all our products. The newly launched Hayate, a mass segment motorcycle, has also received a tremendous response."