NEW DELHI: New models, discounts and easing retail finance helped car sales grow for the fifth month in a row, with June sales up 8% at 1.07 lakh
units against 99741 units in the same month last year. Overall, automobile sales in the month were up 14% at 9.17 lakh units against 8.02 lakh units in June last year.
According to wholesale data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers
(SIAM), market leader Maruti led the charge and accounted for more than half of the sales. It sold 54,693 units, showing a growth of 12%. Companies like Hyundai, Honda Tata Motors
also saw numbers going up in the month. New models including Maruti Ritz, Honda Jazz and Fiat Grande Punto, also witnessed growth.
"Also, the discounts offered around the monsoon season and the gradually-improving situation on the front of retail financing has been keeping the numbers healthy. However, there could be some slowdown in the coming months as demand normally slackens during monsoons," said an industry analyst.
Car sales in the first quarter of this financial year have increased by a modest 4.7% at 3.23 lakh units against 3.09 lakh in the April-June 2008 period, SIAM said.
Motorcycle sales also remained healthy in June, thanks to the push given by market leader Hero Honda. The company saw sales increasing by 23% at 3.41 lakh units. While second-biggest company Bajaj Auto saw another month of downturn, TVS also slipped and saw June sales going down on a year-on-year basis.
The scooter market also remained robust as sales went up 25% at 1.11 lakh units against 89,809 units in June 2008. All the top three players — Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, TVS and Hero Honda — saw demand going up.
However, just as other segments grew, the commercial vehicle segment continued its bad run. Overall commercial vehicle sales remained negative and fell 12.5% in June at 36,193 units against 41,369 units in the same month last year. While the light vehicle segment again managed to grow on good demand for goods carriers, the medium- and heavy-vehicle segment led to the slowdown as sales here was down by 31%.
SIAM officials said they expected commercial vehicle sales to remain negative throughout the first half of this fiscal and any revival could be expected only with a pick-up in industrial activity.