New Delhi: Car market leader Maruti Suzuki, rivals Hyundai Motor and Mahindra & Mahindra showed rays of hope, posting growth in their domestic sales in January despite the automobile industry continuing its rough ride.
Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar, General Motors and Ford India began the year 2013 on a negative note as their sales declined in January, giving credence to calls from the players for support from the government in the forthcoming Budget.
In January this year, the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India recorded domestic sales of 1,03,026 units compared to 1,01,047 units in the year-ago period, registering a rise of 1.96 percent.
The country's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded an increase of 1.19 percent in sales at 34,302 units compared to 33,900 units in the year-ago period.
"The market was subdued on account of macro-economic factors. For Hyundai the year has started on a positive note with growth in its domestic and export sales... Marketing initiatives in rural markets are bringing volume growth," HMIL Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.
Auto-maker Mahindra & Mahindra reported total sales of passenger vehicles including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, stood at 26,555 units for the domestic market as against 19,975 units in January 2012, translating into 32.94 percent increase.
"We are happy to have grown in some of our major segments during January 2013... The recently announced reduction of 25 BPS both in the repo and CRR rates is a positive step and is expected to bring in the much desired momentum in the market," M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said.
Honda Cars India reported an over three-fold increase in its domestic sales for January 2013 at 5,451 units. It had sold 1,784 units in the same month last year.
Tata Motors' total passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 15,209 units in January, down 56.13 percent from 34,669 units in the same month last year.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor also reported 23.37 percent decrease in its domestic car sales at 13,329 units in January 2013. It had sold 17,395 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on numbers, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said: "The market is still witnessing a slowdown, especially the passenger car segment. The prospects for the second half of 2013 look better. The repo rate cut is a welcome step".
With the budget round the corner, we are looking for some more measures that will bring about positive growth, he added.
General Motors India reported 7.92 percent decline in its sales at 7,588 units last month. It had sold 8,241 units in the same month of 2012.
"The market continues to remain depressed for the automobile sector because of various negative factors, including high interest rates and poor economic conditions. Passenger car segment in January this year is down by 13 percent compared to January 2012," GM India Vice President P Balendran said.
If the current macro economic uncertainties continue, the market is not expected to turn around in the short-term, he added.
"Although there is a positive direction with a small interest cut by the RBI, the market is expected to improve only in the second quarter, that too if we get a growth-oriented Budget," Balendran said.
Car maker Ford India's domestic sales went down by 33.65 percent to 6,062 units in January this year as against 9,137 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on the sales performance, Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service) Vinay Piparsania said: "To offset the prevailing tough conditions and introduce buoyancy into the market, we hope the government will introduce regulatory policies that are conducive to the growth of the automotive industry."
The reduction in differential between diesel and petrol prices and the recent RBI's decision to cut repo rate are progressive steps and should continue, he added.
Another car maker Renault India reported over five-fold jump in sales at 4,914 units. It had sold a total of 885 vehicles during January 2012.
On the two-wheeler category, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) reported 21.63 percent growth in its total sales for January 2013 at 2,30,304 units. Its total sales had stood at 1,89,353 units in the corresponding month of the last year.
India Yamaha Motor reported a 13.25 percent increase in its domestic sales at 29,785 units during January 2013 compared to 26,300 units in the same month last year.
Suzuki Motorcycle India too reported 13.91 percent rise in its sales at 39,982 units in January 2013. It had sold 35,099 units in the same month of 2012.