New Delhi: The country’s major carmakers, barring market leader Maruti Suzuki, on Saturday reported growth in domestic sales for September, signalling some traction in a sluggish market ahead of the festive season.

A man walks inside Maruti Suzuki showroom. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Cars sales in the country had declined in July and August, as high interest rates and rising petrol prices kept customers away from new purchases.

MSI said its total passenger car sales in the domestic market declined to 66,667 units in September from 81,060 units in the same month of 2010.

“The disruption in production owing to the labour issue at the company’s Manesar plant during September adversely impacted the sales numbers during the month," it said.

HMIL on the other hand said its car sales grew by 13.2% to 35,955 units from 31,756 units in same month last year.

Commenting on the sales performance, HMIL director (marketing and sales) Arvind Saxena said: “We will launch our much awaited compact car Eon this month. In spite of a sluggish market we expect Eon to boost our sales and increase market share."

Tata Motors also reported 10.22% increase in total passenger vehicles sales in the domestic market at 26,319 units in September, as against 23,877 units in the same month last year.

Keeping the positive trend, General Motors India reported 17.35% jump in sales in September at 10,112 units as compared 8,617 units in the same month last year.

GM India vice-president P Balendran said: “The market continues to be sluggish due to repeated hike in interest rates and rising fuel prices, which is creating tremendous pressure in the automobile market."

Most of the companies, which are witnessing sales growth during the month are mainly driven by new models, he added.

Riding on strong demand for its latest models ‘Etios´ and ‘Liva´, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) posted over two-fold jump in sales to 12,807 units in September from 6,235 units in the same month last year.

“This is a positive sign for us at the onset of the festive season," TKM deputy managing director (marketing) Sandeep Singh said.

Ford India’s domestic sales dipped 6.9% to 7,801 units as against 8,380 units in the same month last year.

In the two-wheeler segment, Chennai-based TVS Motor Company reported 16% increase in domestic sales last month to 1,92,027 units, as against 1,65,418 units in the same month last year.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) also reported 44% jump in its total sales to 1,78,462 units during the month as against 1,23,831 units in September last year.

Suzuki Motorcycle India posted 29% increase in sales in September this year to 29,094 units as against 22,545 units in the same month last year.

Yamaha Motor said its September sales grew 28% at 43,462 units, as against 33,944 units in the same month last year.