Companies

Car sales touch record high in March

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 16, 2017 Published on April 02, 2012

Record car sales in March and a strong fourth quarter have helped the industry to end the fiscal on a positive note. This is being taken as a sign of a good start to the current fiscal after sales were largely in the negative territory for most of 2011-12.

Among the major players, the only carmaker to see a dip in the fiscal (11 per cent) was market leader Maruti Suzuki. It lost about a lakh units to a 33-day strike since June. Maruti, which accounts for 40 per cent of the market, saw its fortunes improving since January with additional diesel engine supply from Fiat and addition of new production capacity

“Because of the last quarter, the industry should end at a 2-4 per cent growth for the fiscal. Fears of higher taxes on diesel cars really helped push sales, though models which do not have diesel engine suffered,” an industry executive said.

Monthly sales

In March, sales touched a record high for most major players such as Maruti, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M).

Apart from improved market sentiments on a pause in policy rate hikes, the good show has largely been attributed to a rush of buyers looking to get the best deals on existing dealer inventories which attract lower excise rates. The Government had increased excise duties by two per cent in the mid-March Budget announcements, leading to higher prices on all new models coming out from car plants.

Maruti Suzuki posted a 2 per cent rise in domestic sales, even as total sales (with exports) were the highest-ever at 1.25 lakh units. Hyundai saw its sales increasing 23 per cent, while Tata Motors saw a 34 per cent rise. M&M sold 25 per cent more vehicles in March.

Mr Arvind Saxena, Director - Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor India said, “We could meet our expectations in March as there was considerable interest to beat the expected price hike in the Union Budget. The market continues to pose many challenges; things can improve if interest rates come down this quarter.”

Meanwhile, Toyota Kirloskar's sales rose 87 per cent led by the Etios range and Honda Siel emerged out of its production issues to post a three-fold rise in March sales to 11,016 units. Ford sold 9,026 units in the month, while General Motors saw a 13 per cent rise to 10,588 units. Volkswagen registered its highest ever sales at 8,326 units in March.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 02, 2012
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