Car sales growth to remain in positive territory in FY12

India’s auto sales growth may not move into the negative zone this fiscal as feared earlier because of good pick up in demand during February and the first half of March, SIAM has said.

It had earlier expressed concerns about the possibility of car sales declining in 2011-12 for the first time in nine years.

“As of February, car sales growth in the domestic market for the fiscal is at 0.31 per cent. It is likely that we may end the year between 0-1 per cent growth,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) Director General Vishnu Mathur said. As per SIAM’s latest data, during the April-February period, car sales in India stood at 17,86,249 units as against 17,80,740 units in the year-ago period.

Mathur said while car sales in first half of March were good as customers advanced purchases ahead of the Budget fearing price increase, the second half may not be as good as prices have gone up due to excise duty hikes. “So in March, the first half and the second half may cancel out each other with a net flat sales growth,” he added. In February, SIAM had said that the Indian passenger car sales may miss the target of 0-2 per cent growth, after revising it three times for 2011-12, hinting at the possibility of a decline for the first time in nine years.

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