Car sales up in February after six months

Car sales up in February after six months

Car sales up in February after six months

The excise duty cut in the interim budget has helped India car sales surge 1.39 per cent in February. This is the first time in the past six months that the passenger car sales have looked up. Analysts have also attributed it to the positive sentiment that Auto Expo created.

Domestic car sales increased 160,718 units in February from 1,58,512 units in the year-ago month, according to SIAM Data released Monday. Sales of commercial vehicles, however, were down 29.84 per cent to 47,982 units in February, the 10th straight monthly decline.

Apex industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) too has accepted that footfalls in the company showrooms have increased but said it would take some more time for the negative trend to reverse. Till then it would remain cautiously optimistic.

“It will take some more time to see if the negative trends have reversed. We are getting feedback from companies that footfalls have increased,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters, adding
The excise duty cut and the Auto Expo have created a positive sentiment but it is too early to say if all this would translate into sales.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had cut excise duty to 8 per cent from 12 per cent for small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; 24 per cent from 30 per cent for SUVs; 20 per cent for mid-sized cars from 24 per cent and 24 per cent for large cars from 27 per cent in his interime budget presented last month.

However, the April-February period of this financial year, car sales declined 4.6 per cent while the broader passenger vehicle segment witnessed a fall of 5.9 per cent.
“The current fiscal is going to end on a negative for passenger and commercial vehicles. Even if sales are much better in March, it won't be able to erase the effect of rest of the fiscal, which has been largely negative,” SIAM president said.

Maruti Suzuki India posted a marginal increase in domestic sales at 84,595 units last month from 83,865 units in the corresponding month a year earlier.