New Delhi: Sales of the country’s car makers led by market leader Maruti Udyog Ltd, grew in February 2007 compared with a year ago on increased demand for new models and lower purchases in the previous year.
Last February, customers had postponed purchases expecting a reduction in excise duty in Budget 2006.
Maruti, posted sales of 59,095 units in February 2007, up 61% over the 36,608 units it sold a year ago as demand increased for models such as the Alto mini car and Zen Estilo.
Rival Tata Motors sold 27,859 passenger vehicles, 22% more than the 22,885 vehicles it sold a year ago, boosted by sales of its popular Indica model.
Hyundai Motor India Ltd too recorded a 74% increase in sales to 15,459 units as demand increased for its Santro brand.
Sales of passenger vehicles were depressed in February 2006 as customers postponed purchases expecting prices to fall after a tax cut in the Union Budget.
The finance minister cut the excise duty on small cars by 8% and subsequently sales picked up in March, rising by 24%.
Local units of Honda MotorCo. and General Motors, too, sold 60% and 81% more vehicles from a year ago riding on sales of newer models such as the Civic and Aveo.
These models were introduced only in the second half of 2006.
In the two-wheeler segment, Hero Honda Motors Ltd, India’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, posted a 12% increase in February sales to 280,575 units as demand picked up in the world’s second largest market. The company sold 250,695 units in February 2006.
Rival Bajaj Auto Ltd saw a dip of 3% in sales to 174,220. A company statement said “production constraints limited sale of high-end Bajaj motorcycles.