New models lead January sales growth.

Roudra Bhattacharya

New Delhi, Feb. 11

With most carmakers posting record sales in January, Tata Motors regained the No 2 position behind market leader Maruti Suzuki. After a gap of about two years, the company has overtaken Hyundai Motors India, according to Tata Motors officials.

A spate of new launches and the upturn in demand helped push Tata Motors tothe second spot in terms of domestic passenger vehicle sales during the month.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, in the passenger vehicle category, Tata Motors sold 31,081 units in January, recording a growth of 48 per cent over the same month last year. Hyundai sold 29,601 units in the same month, while Maruti Suzuki sold a mammoth 81,087 units, which is more than double Tata Motors' domestic sales. Hyundai's export numbers, however, boosted its cumulative sales. The Korean automaker exported 23,034 units in the month, while Tata Motors exported 582 units.

“All the new generation models have done well in terms of sales in January. The last time we were in the second position was in 2007-08. In the last two years, our market share had gone down because we were replacing our products with a new refreshed product range. People knew that we were launching new models, so they waited,” a Tata Motors official told Business Line.

Vista, Manza sales

Tata Motors has sold 11,448 units of the Indica, boosted by the new Vista range. The other newly launched car, the Indigo Manza, sold 7,258 units. The growing Nano volumes from the Pantnagar plant also added to the numbers, with sales of 4,001 units.

“The Indica sales were the highest this fiscal, of which the Indigo sales were in fact the highest since launch in 2000. The Nano volumes also helped. Full-scale commercial production for the Nano will start from April at the Sanand plant,” said the company official.

High demand

A Delhi-based Tata Motors dealer said that due to high demand, one has to wait for two to four weeks to own the Manza and one or two weeks for the Vista.

“High sales are due to a major quality improvement, new variants and the fact that the Indica has been able to get out of the taxi segment. Also, many people prefer a January registration. The Manza is selling the most, while the Indica Vista is seeing slightly lower sales than it should, because people tend to upgrade to the Indigo CS three-box sedan, which is available at a difference of just Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000,” said the dealer.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 12, 2010)
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