Car sales jump 31 percent in July

Sales of motorcycles rose over 19 percent to 546,250 units from 457,200 units, said the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in a statement.

According to SIAM, two-wheeler sales surged 20 percent in July to 719,670 units as compared to 599,370 units in the corresponding month last year.

Sales of trucks and buses rose 9.6 percent from a year earlier to 37,620 units, SIAM's data showed.

"The growth witnessed in the passenger car segment was due to the low-base effect of last July. Usually sales in June is low due to monsoon and it picks up in July," said Dilip Chenoy, the SIAM director.

"The passenger car segment will continue to witness healthy growth in the next 2-3 months on account of low-base of last year, which was an outcome of a demand slump."

Brokerage firm Angel Broking said in a report that low interest rates and the government's stimulus measures had helped the industry recover.

"Lower interest rates, government stimulus packages, reduction in excise duty rates towards the early part of the year and growing presence of the players in rural markets have aided this recovery in industry volumes," said the report.

In the three-wheeler segment (passenger carrier), sales rose 8.7 percent to 37,791 units in July as against 34,756 units sold in the like month last year.

According to experts, the introduction of new cars in the past few months coupled with price discounts by auto makers has also attracted buyers.

Passenger car market leader Maruti posted 33.4 percent growth in volumes last month at 78,074 vehicles as against 58,543 units in July 2008.

The company's exports also increased to 10,546 units last month from 5,632 vehicles in the year-ago period.

Mahindra and Mahindra reported an overall sales volume of 35,313 units (25,882) in July, registering a year-on-year growth of 36.4 percent.

In the two-wheeler segment, Bajaj Auto reported a marginal decline of 0.4 percent in sales, while Hero Honda posted a robust growth of 30.4 percent.

Said Angel Broking: "Most auto stocks have registered a sharp run up in the last few months and are trading close to their fair values and at 15-20 percent premium to the broader markets, which we believe is justified in view of relatively better earnings growth prospect."

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