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Auto dealers federation chief sees racier second-half for the sector

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Visitors going around the kiosk showcasing various brands of new four-wheelers that offer a great choice to car enthusiasts at the first edition of international auto show in Hyderabad on Friday. —
Visitors going around the kiosk showcasing various brands of new four-wheelers that offer a great choice to car enthusiasts at the first edition of international auto show in Hyderabad on Friday. —

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, July 17 If in the first half of 2009 it registered a six per cent growth over last year, the automotive sector is poised for a better second half, according to Mr S. P. Shah, President of the Federation of Automotive Dealers’ Associations (FADA).

This confidence stems from the fact that interest rates have come down from the highs of 2008, the market sentiment is better now, the industry has come up with significant number of new models and, lastly, the festive season, known for good sales, that is ahead, he said.

Commercial vehicles

However, he felt that the commercial vehicle sales continue to be a cause for concern; this segment has borne the brunt of the global economic slowdown.

Speaking to newspersons at the Hyderabad International Auto Show 2009 (HIAS), Mr Shah said India has emerged the largest small-car market and is making inroads into the European market, aided by the Continent’s policy to encourage replacement of old cars.

Hyundai and Maruti have been stepping up volumes in Europe each passing month. This trend is likely to continue as more buyers are opting for smaller cars in Europe, he said.

The auto show, to become an annual event, attracted 22 automotive manufacturers, including of motor-cycles. The display included new BMW X6, Tata Nano and Bajaj 220 DTSi. At the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, where the Show is on, vintage cars and bikes held visitor attention. Also at the Show are 25 auto accessory, finance and insurance companies.

New Volvo CARS

The Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo today hinted at bringing in a couple of more models into India in the next 6-12 months.

Addressing a press conference, the Volvo Car India Marketing Manager, Mr Sudeep Narayan, said the Indian luxury car market has been growing rapidly and Volvo is gearing up to be part of this excitement. These new ones could include a cross over and an ‘S class’ sedan.

Since the launch of three models in India a year ago, the company now has a dealership network of seven and expects to take this up to 12 by next year. Next in line are dealerships in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

Related Stories:
Car sales rise for first time after Sept ’08

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 18, 2009)
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