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Passenger car sales rise 18 pc in 2004-05 Two-wheeler sales up 15.75 pc; CVs 22 pc

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, April 15

HELPED by new launches and improved purchasing power, domestic passenger vehicle sales crossed the one million mark in the last fiscal.

Passenger vehicle (including passenger cars, utility vehicles and multi-purpose vehicles) sales grew 17.65 per cent in the last fiscal to 10,61,290 units as against 9,02,096 units in the previous year, according to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Meanwhile, domestic passenger car sales, driven by Maruti, Hyundai India, Tata Motors and Honda Siel, jumped by 17.78 per cent to 8,19,918 units last fiscal. Maruti Udyog's sales jumped by 16.6 per cent in the period to 4,17,179 units, followed by Tata Motors at 1,44,827 units. Hyundai recorded the third highest domestic car sales in the period with sales of 1,41,870 units.

The compact car segment accounted for the bulk of sales in the period at 4,96,270 units.

Despite the almost 18 per cent growth in the market, analysts point out that the slowdown in the market in recent months has been a worrying aspect.

In fact, car sales in the last quarter of 2004-05 grew by only 8 per cent. Analysts add that a high double digit growth in sales seems unlikely at least over the next couple of months of the current fiscal due to a combination of factors including price increases (due to value-added-tax (VAT), steel prices and in some cities road tax).

Industry officials add that any further price hikes in fuel may also dampen car sales.

Meanwhile, two-wheeler sales also crossed a significant landmark in the last fiscal with sales crossing 6 million units.

Total two-wheeler sales, driven by motorcycles, grew 15.75 per cent to 6,208,860 units in 2004-05.

Motorcycle sales driven by Bajaj Auto, Hero Honda and new entrant Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI) grew 19 per cent to 49,64,442 units in 2004-05.

Sales of scooters/scooterettee increased by only 4.2 per cent to 9,23,566 units in the last fiscal with HMSI and TVS Motor Company being the only two companies which did not see a dip in sales in the year.

According to the data, the commercial vehicles segment, driven largely by growing sales of goods carriers, saw a 22 per cent increase in sales to 3,18,438 units in 2004-05.

Overall automobile exports, meanwhile, jumped by 31.2 per cent in the year to 6,29,887 units with passenger cars and motorcycles contributing to the bulk of exports.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 16, 2005)
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