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Passenger car sales down 2.31 pc in Nov

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Our Bureau

New Delhi, Dec. 13

AFTER the festive season high, domestic passenger car sales in November came down by 2.31 per cent to 68,840 units from 70,468 units in the same month a year ago.

In fact, eight out of 11 carmakers reported a drop in volume during the month, data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed.

Analysts attributed the decline to the fact that many people went in for the purchase of a new vehicle during the festive month of October, resulting in a dip in demand during the next month. Sales were higher during November 2004 due to the delay in the festive season. The analysts added that consumers also tend to postpone purchases to the new year to get a better resale value for their vehicles and hence, the last couple of months usually see lower off-take in sales.

The decline last month was primarily led by the mid-size segment with all auto companies except Honda seeing a dip in sales.

Cumulative domestic car sales during the April-November period, however, increased by 5.22 per cent to 5,57,813 units this year from 5,30,117 units in the corresponding period last year.

The November decline was also perceivable in the two-wheeler segment, which saw a dip in growth led largely by scooters. The motorcycle segment, in turn, saw a flat growth with sales increasing by just 0.97 per cent to 4,83,884 units in November from 4,79,212 units in the same month last year.

Market leader Hero Honda managed a growth of 5.95 per cent, clocking 2,43,885 units in November as against 2,30,182 units in the same month last year. Sales of TVS Motor Co also increased in November by 3.38 per cent to 63,635 units (61,551 units). However, Bajaj Auto's (the second biggest player in the segment) sales declined by 2.74 per cent to 1,41,083 units in November (1,45,058 units).

Nevertheless, the cumulative bike sales in the April-November period jumped by 18.83 per cent to 38,11,736 units from 32,07,816 units in the corresponding period last year.

Scooter and scooterette sales during the April-November period, however, declined by 4.59 per cent to 6,10,367 units from 6,39,756 units in the year-ago period.

Commercial vehicle sales improved by 5.52 per cent to 28,010 units in November (26,544 units). The commercial vehicles category managed to grow 8.47 per cent to 2,10,216 units in the April-November period as compared to 1,93,794 units in the corresponding period last year.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 14, 2005)
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