New Delhi: Major car makers in the country, including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors, posted an increase in sales during January, indicating buoyancy in the auto market in the new year after prolonged sluggishness.
The country's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India witnessed a turnaround in monthly sales after seven consecutive months of decline with a 2.42 per cent rise in domestic sales to 88,377 units last month from 86,285 units in January last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said its sales grew by 11.85 per cent in January to 33,900 units from 30,306 units in the same month last year. Tata Motors also reported a 14.75 percent increase in domestic passenger vehicles sales to 34,669 units in January from 30,212 units in the same month last year.
"The year seems to have started on a positive note, domestic sales are showing some buoyancy. But we will have to cautiously watch how this momentum picks up in the months ahead," HMIL Director Marketing and Sales Arvind Saxena said.
Striking a cautious note, MSI Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said: "The fundamental weakness in the market still remains. The problems of high interest rates and fuel prices persist and there is also a huge disparity in the demand for petrol and diesel vehicles."
As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers data, domestic passenger sales grew by 4.24 percent in 2011 to 19,46,373 units from 18,67,246 units in 2010.
Other companies, such as Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), also reported good growth during January this year.
M&M posted a 19.56 per cent rise in domestic sales to 41,369 units during the month from 34,601 units in the year-ago period.
TKM reported an 89.34 percent increase in sales to 17,395 units in January, driven by robust demand for its latest 'Etios' and 'Liva' models.
"It's been a good start to the year with a robust growth. We are happy with the response to the Etios series, the new Innova and the new Fortuner," TKM Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said.
Ford India, on the other hand, reported a 2.99 percent decline in total sales to 10,789 units during January.
Similarly, General Motors India posted a 17.46 percent decline in sales to 8,241 units for January, as against 9,984 units in the same month last year.