Lower fuel cost, excise duty relief propel car sales in Nov

Lower fuel cost, excise duty relief propel car sales in Nov
After declining for two months in a row, car sales in India rose by 9.5 per cent in November, propelled by lower fuel prices and continued relief in excise duty.

Domestic car sales in November stood at 1,56,445 units, up 9.52 per cent, as compared to 1,42,849 units in the same month of 2013, according to the data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

"Sales have grown in November as the overall sentiment has improved due to overall cost of ownership having come down with the lowering of fuel prices and benefits of reduced excise duty continuing," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

Car sales have been fluctuating this year with various ups and downs and in order to "really kickstart" the growth steps like excise duty relief extension beyond December 31 and interest rate cut are required.

"Hopefully, we are on a recovery path. If you want it deep-rooted, interest rate cut is required so that people sitting on the fence start buying," Mathur said.

He said that if these steps are taken then "we will see some growth next fiscal".
"We hope that the government extends the excise duty relief till February, till the Budget," Mathur said, adding that discontinuation of the relief would affect recovery in the sector.

Car sales in the country grew from May to August this year after a prolonged slump which lasted over two years. The sales, however, declined 1.03 per cent in September and by 2.55 per cent in October.

In November, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 14.87 per cent in domestic passenger car sales at 82,306 units as against 71,649 units in the same month last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India saw its sales grow by 6.04 per cent to 35,448 units as compared to 33,427 units in the same month last year.

Honda Cars India witnessed a rise of 24.72 per cent in domestic sales of its passenger cars at 11,612 units as against 9,310 units in the year-ago month.

Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' sales increased 30.03 per cent at 10,286 units as against 7,910 units in November 2013, while utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra's sales during the month declined by 16.22 per cent to 13,613 units as against 16,249 units last year.

Motorcycle sales last month declined 3.05 per cent to 8,53,254 units from 8,80,078 units a year earlier, according to SIAM data.

"Motorcycle sales have been hit as rural sales have been impacted by weak monsoon. It is the scooter segment which has been during the growth of two-wheeler segment," Mathur said.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its sales dip 1.5 per cent to 4,58,481 units as against 4,65,505 units in the same month last year.

Bajaj Auto registered sale of 1,27,649 units as against 1,62,616 units last year, down 21.5 per cent.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) witnessed a decline of 4.2 per cent at 1,36,789 units as against 1,42,797 units in November 2103.

According to SIAM, the total scooter sales in November 2014 stood at 3,86,547 units as compared to 3,05,586 units in the same month last year, up 26.49 per cent.

Scooter market leader HMSI posted a growth of 32.54 per cent at 2,16,954 units as against 1,63,679 units in the year-ago month.

Hero MotoCorp scooter sales were up 13.81 per cent at 62,520 units in November as against 54,932 units last year.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its scooter sales zoom by 67.53 per cent to 61,336 units as against 36,610 units last year.

Total two-wheeler sales in November rose 4.89 per cent to 13,01,431 units. Sales of commercial vehicles rose 9.05 per cent to 47,686 units in November SIAM said. "Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicles (M&HCVs) sales grew by 40 per cent in November, highest during the fiscal," Mathur said.

Total vehicle sales across categories registered an increase of 5.03 per cent to 16,03,292 units from 15,26,514 units in November 2013.

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