New Delhi: Car sales in India grew at the fastest pace in 5 years, up 7.87 percent in 2015-16, driven largely by new model launches and heavy discounts in a "challenging environment".
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales stood at 20,25,479 units in 2015-16 as compared with 18,77,706 units in the 2014-15.
"The previous highest growth was achieved in 2010-11 when car sales grew by 29.08 percent. The growth in 2015-16 was mainly because companies have tried to come up with new models, which have been accepted in the market," SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told reporters here.
Moreover, many companies also gave heavy discounts and a lot of efforts were made by the manufacturers to induce purchase, he added.
Sen said the growth in FY16 has been achieved amid a "challenging environment for the auto industry" such as persisting weak consumer sentiment due to high interest rates, ambiguity over diesel cars due to 'adhoc policies' and "intervention of courts complicating matters and stigmatising technologies".
"The sector is the highest taxed in manufacturing sector ... There is only 60 percent capacity utilisation in the auto industry today," he said, adding "the profitability of many car companies are still in the negative today in India".
Vehicle sales across categories were up 3.78 percent at 2,04,69,385 units in 2015-16 from 1,97,24,371 units in the previous fiscal.
"Auto industry is still in a slow recovery path," Sen added.
During the fiscal, total two-wheeler sales were up 3.01 percent for the fiscal at 1,64,55,911 units, up from 1,59,75,561 units in the previous year.
Motorcycle sales for the fiscal, were down 0.24 percent to 1,07,00,466 units from 1,07,26,013 units in corresponding fiscal.
Sales of commercial vehicles were up 11.51 percent to 6,85,704 units as against 6,14,948 units 2014-15.
For the month of March, domestic passenger car sales at 1,75,730 units as compared with 1,76,260 units in the same month last year, down 0.3 percent.
During the month, car market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 7.43 percent in car sales at 92,105 units as against 85,733 units in the same month last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India had a sales of 32,986 units as against 39,325 units in the year-ago month, down 16.12 percent. Honda Cars India saw a decline of 14.43 percent at 16,726 units as compared with 19,547 units in March last year.
Homegrown Tata Motors had sales of 6,876 units in March, as compared with 12,977 units down 47 percent, while utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra's sales stood at 25,436 units as against 20,672 units in the year-ago month, up 23 percent.
Last month motorcycle sales grew by 10.15 percent to 9,46,758 units as against 8,59,521 units a year ago, SIAM said.
Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted sales of 4,96,383 units as against 4,61,703 units in the same month last year, up 7.51 percent. Rival Bajaj Auto had sales of 1,76,788 units as against 1,34,660 units in Mach last year, up 31.28 percent.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's (HMSI) March sales were at 1,21,064 units as against 1,45,502 units in the year-ago month, down 16.79 percent.
Total scooter sales during the month were at 4,50,038 units as against 3,95,901 units last year, up 13.67 percent.
Market leader HMSI's scooter sales were at 2,44,665 units as against 2,38,950 units in march 2015, up 2.39 percent. Rival Hero MotoCorp's scooter sales were at 86,810 units as compared with 58,720 units last year, up 47.83 percent.
Chennai-based TVS Motor posted a growth of 25.55 percent in its scooter sales in March at 65,713 units as compared with 52,338 units in the same month last year.
Total two-wheeler sales in March rose by 10.92 percent to 14,67,714 units as against 13,23,184 units in the same month last year.
Sales of commercial vehicles were up 22.03 percent to 79,865 units in March, as against 65,445 units in the same month last year, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a growth of 10.76 percent to 18,55,663 units from 16,75,450 units in March 2015, it added.