New Delhi: Growth in domestic passenger car sales declined for the second consecutive month in August, with the automobile industry registering a 10.08% dip in purchases on account of high interest rates and production cuts by the country’s biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India.
According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) on Friday, domestic passenger car sales stood 144,516 units in August 2011, as against 160,713 units in the same month last year.
“High interest rates continued to be a big problem for the industry and it is impacting the cost of finance for both companies and customers,” Siam director general Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
He said, however, with the onset of the festive season and the good monsoon this year, the industry is hoping that there will be a turnaround in car sales growth.
During August this year, Maruti’s sales declined by 19.21% to 63,296 units from 78,351 units in the same period last year.
The company has been facing labour issues at its Manesar plant, where production has been impacted.
Similarly, rival Hyundai Motors posted a 7.51% decline in sales to 26,451 units in August this year from 28,601 units in the same period last year.
Tata Motors also reported a 39.45% decline in sales to 13,508 units in August this year from 22,312 units in the same period last year.
Domestic passenger car sales had fallen for the first time after 30 months of continuous growth in July, registering a 15.76% fall to 133,747 units, mainly due to hikes in lending rates and lower production by market leader Maruti Suzuki during the month.
Mathur said that sales in September and October will be crucial in determining how much growth the industry will achieve this fiscal.
According to Siam data, motorcycle sales grew by 15.43% during the month to 839,772 units from 727,542 units in the corresponding month last year.
Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted a 19.56% rise in sales to 462,196 units in August this year from 386,574 units in the same period last year.
In contrast, Bajaj Auto saw an 8.10% rise to 226,559 units in August 2011 from 209,567 units last year.
TVS Motor Company also posted a 13.2% increase in sales to 56,186 units in August, 2011, from 49,630 units in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The scooter segment grew by 24.84% to 212,750 units in August this year from 170,414 units in the same period last year.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) reported a 31.52% rise in sales to 97,860 units in August 2011 compared to last year’s 74,405.
TVS Motor Co posted a 24.32% jump in sales to 48,701 units in August 2011, as against 39,171 units in the same period last year.
Hero MotoCorp reported a 8.78% rise in sales to 28,924 units in August this year from 26,588 units in the same period last year.
Sales in the three-wheeler segment declined by 8.63% to 45,443 units in August this year, compared to 49,737 units in the corresponding year-ago period.
Sales of commercial vehicle segment grew by 22.62% to 64,248 units in from 52,394 last year.
Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales also grew by 34.46% to 36,847 in August this year from 27,402 units in the same period last year.
Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles stood at 27,401 units in August 2011, compared to 24,992 units in the corresponding period last year.
Total sales of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 11.85% to 1,412,945 units in August from 1,263,239 units in the same month last year.