New Delhi: Domestic car sales of Maruti Suzuki India declined by 35 percent in August, hit by a month-long lockout at its Manesar plant, but the other two main players, Hyundai and Tata Motors posted positive growth during the month amid tough market conditions.
Other manufacturers, Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Ford India also reported increase in their sales in August compared to the same month last year, while General Motors India and Honda Siel Cars India saw their sales decline.
Maruti Suzuki India's (MSI) domestic sales in August this year stood at 50,129 units, compared to 77,086 units in the same month last year, down 35 percent.
The company was hit hard by month-long lockout at its Manesar plant. The lockout was lifted on August 21. Its overall sales, including exports, declined by 40.8 percent at 54,154 units as against 91,442 units in August last year.
On the other hand, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) reported 5.9 percent growth in its domestic sales during the month under review at 28,257 units compared to 26,677 units in the year-ago period.
"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.
Tata Motors said its sales of passenger vehicles for August, 2012 were at 22,311 units, higher by 33 percent over 16,829 units in August last year.
Mahindra & Mahindra reported a healthy 19.77 percent jump in domestic sales at 42,826 units during the month against 35,756 units in August, 2011.
"The overall sentiment for the auto industry is low which could benefit from a relief in interest rates to boost sales. At Mahindra, we continue to remain cautious and watchful of the situation," Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) was another company which saw sales grow in August this year, posting a 19.83 percent increase in sales at 13,995 units during August 2012.
Ford India said its domestic sales went up by 6.2 percent to 7,840 units in August this year from 7,382 units in the same month last year.
Ford India President and Managing Director, Michael Boneham said: "It's wonderful to see consumer sentiment improving as we approach the festive season."
He, however, said the market conditions have been challenging in recent months because of rising petrol prices, high inflation and rising interest rates.
First Published: Saturday, September 1, 2012, 19:00