Car sales may miss 0-2% growth target in FY'12; rise 7% in Jan

Indian passenger car sales may miss three-time revised target of 0-2 per cent rise for 2011-12 fiscal even as the segment witnessed three consecutive months of growth till January this year.

According to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) today, domestic passenger car sales grew by 7.20 per cent to 1,96,013 units in January against 1,82,852 units in the same month last year.

"For domestic car sales, if we go ahead with what we are doing at the current rate, then we will miss our target. Car segment is significantly down till now," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

The domestic passenger cars sales have fallen by 1.19 per cent to 15,74,847 units during April-January this fiscal from 15,93,850 units in the year ago period.

"If we do not see a growth of 10-12 per cent in the remaining two months of the fiscal, then we will miss the projected target," he said, adding the industry is not hoping such a big jump as deterrent factors like high interest rates are unlikely to come down in the near future.

Last month, SIAM had lowered car sales growth forecast for the third time to 0-2 per cent for the ongoing fiscal citing unfavourable macro economic conditions, but said the same could see a jump of 11-13 per cent in  2012-12 fiscal.

Domestic car sales witnessed a turnaround in November last year after four consecutive months of contraction, rising by 7 per cent. It was followed by a high single-digit growth of 8.49 per cent in December 2011 as heavy discounts lured customers to showrooms.

During January 2012, the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India made a turnaround in the domestic market after seven consecutive months of drop, with the firm seeing 2.42 per cent rise in sales to 88,377 units.

Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales grew by 11.40 per cent to 33,756 units from January 2011, while Tata Motors' sales increased by 10.79 per cent to 28,529 units.

According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales in January 2012 increased by 13.63 per cent to 11,13,831 units from 9,80,243 units in the same period of previous year.

Motorcycle sales in the country during the month grew by 10.51 per cent to 8,25,887 units from 7,47,309 units in the same month previous year.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp witnessed a growth of 10.28 per cent at 4,66,981 units as compared to the same month a year ago, SIAM said.

Rival Bajaj Auto's sales jumped to 2,02,214 units, up 5.31 per cent from the corresponding month previous year. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales going up by 39.97 per cent to 68,212 units compared to the same month previous year.

However, TVS Motor Company posted a marginal decline in its sales at 50,391 units compared to year-ago month.

On the scooters front, sales grew by 24.86 per cent to 2,24,839 units in January 2012 as against 1,80,072 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.
The growth in the segment was led by HMSI with a jump of 56.87 per cent at 1,08,947 units during last month.

TVS Motor's scooter sales were at 39,608 units, a rise of 2.07 per cent, while that of Hero MotoCorp went up by 16.26 per cent to 39,445 units.

Total sales of commercial vehicles during in January this year jumped by 13.52 per cent to 69,859 units from 61,537 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

Light commercial vehicle sales rose by 14.25 per cent last month to 38,621 units from 33,803 units in the same month in 2011. Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales were up 12.63 per cent at 31,238 units during the month from 27,734 units in the year-ago period, it added.

Three-wheeler sales during January 2012 were down 3.49 per cent to 45,632 units compared to 47,280 units in the year ago period, SIAM said.

In January 2012, total sale of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 12.18 per cent to 14,81,435 units as against 13,20,644 units in the same month of 2011.

When asked about the overall automobile sector, Mathur said: "Last month, we revised projections to 11-13 per cent rise in sales for FY'12. We are on track for this growth."
During April-January on this fiscal, India has witnessed 12.51 per cent increase in total vehicle sales to 1,42,34,934 units from 1,26,52,513 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

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