New Delhi: The new financial year started on a mixed note for car makers with leading firms, including Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda Cars and General Motors, reporting growth in domestic sales in April.
However, other manufacturers such as Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar and Ford India, witnessed decline in sales during the month.
On the two-wheeler front, market leader Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor Company saw decline in sales, while rivals Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Yamaha Motor registered robust growth last month.
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India reported its domestic sales at 90,523 units in April 2013, a marginal rise over 90,255 units in April 2012.
The country's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded a decline of 7.60 percent in its domestic sales at 32,403 units compared to 35,070 units in the year-ago period.
"...The domestic market continues to witness pressure ...There are signs of recovery with the increase in demand for petrol cars," HMIL Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.
Homegrown auto major Tata Motors saw its passenger vehicles sales fall drastically by 48.94 percent to 11,570 units during April this year as against 22,658 units in the same month last year.
However, rival homegrown auto-maker Mahindra & Mahindra's domestic sales of passenger vehicles, including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, stood at 20,748 units as against 20,554 units in April 2012, translating into a marginal increase.
"We remain cautiously optimistic of the current situation and do hope that with the much awaited and needed reduction in interest rates announcement by the RBI next week, the auto industry will look up," Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said.
He said the price increases due to hike in excise duty to 30 percent from 27 percent on SUVs have started having negative impact on sales.
The company is "extremely disappointed that the additional 3 percent excise duty on SUVs has not been reversed in the Finance Bill which would have brought about some cheer and momentum for SUV makers and provided them with a level playing field," Shah added.
Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) reported 19.97 percent increase in its domestic sales for April 2013 at 8,488 units. It had sold 7,075 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on the numbers, HCIL Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said: "Amaze has received tremendous response from the customers despite the slowdown in the industry. We are confident that Amaze will drive our growth in this fiscal."
Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported 37.36 percent decline in its domestic car sales at 9,007 units in April 2013. It had sold 14,378 units in the corresponding month of last year.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said: "The market continues to be sluggish and is expected to take some time to revive. We have taken measures to reduce inventory, both at ours and at the dealers end."
General Motors India reported a 2.39 percent increase in its sales at 8,196 units in April 2013 compared to 8,005 units in the same month of 2012.
"We have recorded a marginal growth in sales on the back of good response to the newly launched Chevrolet Sail. Despite announcing attractive sales offers, the showroom footfalls, enquiry levels and conversion rates remained very poor," GM India Vice President P Balendran said.
The company does not expect the market to improve in the short-term as it continues to remain subdued due to economic slowdown, political uncertainty and various other factors, he added.
Car maker Ford India's domestic sales went down by 44.41 percent to 4,003 units in April this year as against 7,201 units in the same month last year.
Renault reported over 10-fold increase in its sales at 6,314 units compared to 615 units in the same month of 2012.
On the two-wheeler front, market leader Hero MotoCorp reported 9.51 percent decline in its total sales at 4,99,113 units for April this year as against 5,51,557 units.
Hero MotoCorp Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Anil Dua said: "We are glad to have opened the new financial year with despatch of close to five lakh two-wheelers in April....We expect retails sales to stay buoyant even in May."
Going forward, for the overall industry growth, a lot will depend on the monsoon and overall economic activity, he added.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India registered 30.54 percent growth in its total sales at 2,59,560 units compared to 1,98,831 units in the corresponding month last year.
TVS Motor Company's domestic sales stood at 1,42,794 units during last month as against 1,51,181 units in April 2012, down 5.55 percent.
Two-wheeler maker Yamaha Motor India registered a rise of 33.34 percent in its domestic sales at 35,927 units compared to 26,944 units in the year-ago period.
First Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 19:22