Domestic car sales up 22.6% in Feb

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2011

AUTO   -  The Hindu

Domestic passenger car sales touched a record 1,89,008 units in February this year, a growth of 22.63 per cent vis-a-vis the corresponding month last year, as customers advanced their purchases fearing a possible excise duty hike in the Budget.

According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), February sales bettered the previous high of 1,84,332 units achieved in January this year.

Total sales of vehicles across categories registered 21.32 per cent growth at 13,70,932 units in February, 2011, against 11,30,037 units in the same month last year, it added.

The industry body, however, said the growth rate of car sales could moderate to around 14-16 per cent in the next fiscal, as the sector will have to overcome the challenges of high interest rates and rising commodity prices.

“At some point, vehicle manufacturers have to rationalise prices (to offset rising input costs). Moreover the base has been growing, so growth rate will come down,” the SIAM Director-General, Mr Vishnu Mathur, told reporters here.

During April-February this fiscal, car sales grew by 30.34 per cent to 17,88,503 units from 13,72,192 units in the same period previous fiscal.

Growth in car sales was led by Maruti Suzuki India, which sold 87,851 units, up 19.01 per cent compared to the same month last year. Hyundai Motor India Ltd’s sales were up by 4.84 per cent to 32,503 units, while Tata Motors saw a 18.67 per cent increase in sales to 27,272 units during the month.

According to market analysts, the high car volumes seen in February were mainly on account of buyers advancing their vehicle purchases, fearing a possible price increase if the Government was to hike excise duty in the Budget.

The Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, however, retained excise duty at the same level of 10 per cent on small cars and 22 per cent on big cars in the 2011-12 Budget.

According to the SIAM data, total two-wheeler sales in February increased by 22.04 per cent to 1,02,2272 units from 8,37,653 units in the corresponding period last year.

Motorcycle sales grew by 20.8 per cent to 7,76,051 units from 6,42,419 units. The growth was driven by market leader Hero Honda, which posted a 22.92 per cent increase in sales to 4,29,928 units.

Bajaj Auto Ltd posted sales of 2,05,145 units during the month, up 16.74 per cent vis-a-vis the same month a year ago. TVS Motor Co reported bike sales of 52,650 units, up 14.33 per cent.

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Published on March 09, 2011
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