Our Bureau

New Delhi, Aug. 8

Passenger car sales remained on a roll for the fourth consecutive month this financial year with sales jumping by 28.4 per cent in July, over the same month last year.

Sales have been on a high since April, helped by cut in excise duty on compact cars and high discounts being given by manufacturers.

In fact, passenger car sales rose by 24.8 per cent during April-July 2006 to 324,671 units, compared with 260,025 units in the same months last year, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed.

The Government slashed excise, or factory tax, on small cars to 16 per cent in February's annual Budget.

The cut, effective from April, was aimed at boosting car sales and to make India a regional hub for small car production.

Meanwhile, domestic sales totalled 81,038 cars in July (63,104).

However, industry analysts point out that with several carmakers increasing prices in August citing rise in raw material costs, it remains to be seen whether the momentum will continue in the current month.

2-wheeler sales up

Sales of two wheelers also maintained their momentum in the period.

The overall two-wheeler market grew by 17.78 per cent during April-July 2006 over the same period last year. While motorcycles grew by 20.56 per cent, scooters grew by about 6.88 per cent and mopeds grew by 1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, with infrastructure development activities in full swing, the overall commercial vehicles segment grew at 40.76 per cent.

Growth of medium and heavy commercial vehicles was 42.99 per cent. Light Commercial Vehicles also performed well with a growth of 37.61 per cent.

Overall automobile exports registered 33 per cent growth rate in April-July 2006 over the same period last year. While passenger vehicles exports grew at 17.85 per cent, two wheeler exports grew by 34.08 per cent and commercial vehicle exports by 32.08 per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 9, 2006)
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