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Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003

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Industry & Economy - Cars

Sept cars sales up 12.8%

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Oct. 14

HELPED by higher sales of Maruti and Tata Motors, car sales grew by 12.8 per cent in September 2003. Lower interest rates on car loans and lump sum price offs continued to enthuse consumer demand in the period.

Car sales went up to 56,764 units in the month over 50,292 units in September 2002, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed.

Sales of cars during the first six months of the fiscal year grew by 23.7 per cent to 3,19,442 units from 2,58,230 cars during the same period last year. The sales in the period were helped by the eight per cent excise duty reduction in the Budget, lower interest loans, availability of more models in the market and rising disposable income.

Commercial vehicle sales, meanwhile, posted a robust 44.8 per cent rise in September to 23,537 units as both medium and heavy and light commercial vehicles saw higher demand. Almost all the major companies including Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland saw good growth in the period.

Sales of commercial vehicles in the first half of the fiscal jumped by 32 per cent to 109688 units, mainly as a result of work on the highway development project and fleet replacement carried out by truck owners.

The sale of motorcycles and step-thrus went up by 17.6 per cent to 369,669 units in September from 314,570 units in the same month last year with firms such as Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda and Yamaha clocking growth.

Scooters and scooterettees, which are seeing a revival of sorts, saw 13.7 per cent growth in September to 83,349 units largely due to higher sales of Honda Motorcycles & Scooter India and TVS.

The utility-vehicle segment saw its sales surge by 32 per cent to 12,823 units in September. Mahindra & Mahindra's Scorpio continued to be the growth driver for the category.

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