New Delhi: Boosted by festive season purchases, domestic car sales increased by 23.09 percent to 1,72,459 units in October 2012, the highest growth rate in nearly two years.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), however, downplayed the feat saying that the growth was on a low base of 1,40,105 units in the same month last year and the automotive industry continues to face challenges in pushing sales.
"The car sales growth rate that we have achieved this October is the highest since January 2011, which was at 25.27 percent. In terms of volumes, this is the highest since March this year when it was at 2,29,866 units," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
However, he said it was to early to rejoice for the industry as high interest rates and fuel prices, uncertain economic environment and low consumer sentiments still prevails and it has started affecting even the rural markets.
"Compared to the last four months, we have a good growth. This is of course due to festival season but this is on a very low base of October last year," Mathur added.
On a comparative basis of the festive season sales between last year, which was mainly in September, and this year, he said the sales growth has been marginal.
"If we compare September last year and October this year, the growth in just 3.6 percent. So once the festive season is over we will face the challenge again and next month will be critical," Mathur said, adding sales in September last year was at 1,66,464 units.
As per the latest figure released by SIAM, in the passenger cars segment, market leader Maruti Suzuki India sold 79,811 units in October, up 93.75 percent from 41,192 units in the same month last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd clocked 35,722 units as against 32,811 units in October 2011, up 8.87 percent, while Tata Motors sales stood at 16,444 units compared to 20,948 units in the year-ago month, down 21.5 percent.
Utility vehicles (UV) segment saw a surge in domestic sales at 53,285 units, up 87.74 percent from last year. The growth was led-by Mahindra & Mahindra with its UV sales in October this year registering 49.9 percent growth at 25,379 units as compared to 16,938 units in the same month last year.
As per the SIAM data, domestic motorcycle sales last month went up by 6.71 percent to 9,36,122 units from 8,77,270 units in the same month previous year.
Hero MotoCorp's (HMC) domestic bike sales in October were marginally down at 4,59,203 units from last year.
Rival Bajaj Auto clocked 2,61,771 units, a growth of 7.06 percent, while that of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) had a sales of 1,11,235 units, an increase of 69.4 percent from the October last year.
Total scooter sales during the month under review stood at 2,79,427 units as against 2,11,068 units in October 2011, up 32.39 percent.
HMSI led the growth in scooter sales at 1,24,827 units, up 17.59 percent from last year, while that of HMC stood at 56,039 units, an increase of 71.69 percent.
"Sales of scooters have been driven mainly from urban demand and we are seeing good traction in the segment. We are also seeing a trend of lot of women buyers," Mathur said.
The three-wheeler segment saw sales increase by 55,241 units in October this year, up 12.58 percent.
SIAM said the total two-wheeler sales in October 2012 rose by 12.26 percent to 12,85,015 units from 11,44,716 in October 2011.
In the commercial vehicles segment, were also up by 7.59 percent to 66,722 units in October from 62,013 units in the year-ago period.
Total sale of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 14.81 percent to 16,53,703 units last month as against 14,40,409 units in October 2011, it added.
First Published: Friday, November 9, 2012, 10:52