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Annual car sales post first drop in 11 years

According to data released by Siam, motorcycle sales in December declined by 4.24 per cent to 8,08,281 units from 8,44,046 units a year earlier.

New Delhi | Published: January 10, 2014 4:11:25 am

A prolonged demand slump forced a 9.59 per cent dip in passenger car sales in the country during calendar year 2013, the first such decline in 11 years. The sales had last registered a decline in 2002.
Market leaders Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India, though, bucked the trend and posted higher domestic sales during the year.
According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Industry (Siam), domestic car sales last year fell to 18,07,011 units from 19,98,703 units in the previous year. “High interest rates, inflation and fuel prices have resulted in high cost of ownership, thus affecting sentiment,” Siam director general Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
Due to a slowdown in the Indian economy, auto sales have been stressed for the last and one and half year. In the last 17 months, vehicle sales grew only in three months – October 2012, August and September 2013.
The decline in sales could not be arrested even with the launch of 22 new models, 40 new variants and 10 model refreshes during April-December 2013. Despite these launches, passenger car sales registered a decline of 4.92 per cent during the period.
However, Maruti Suzuki posted a 6.4 per cent increase in domestic sales in December at 73,155 units as against 68,729 units in the same month of the previous year, while Hyundai Motor India sales were up 6.2 per cent at 28,320 units compared to 26,651 units in the year-ago month.
Tata Motors saw its sales crash by 41.92 per cent to 6,537 units in December from 11,257 units. Honda posted a 29.27 per cent increase to 5,484 units as against 4,242 units.
Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra, meanwhile, witnessed its sales drop by 26.93 per cent to 15,881 units from 21,735 units in December 2012. Siam, however, is hopeful of a revival in the industry post the general elections. “We are seeing signs of revival in terms of a few large infrastructure projects picking up and mining activity reviving. We expect the market to revive in the second half of the year,” Mathur said.
According to data released by Siam, motorcycle sales in December declined by 4.24 per cent to 8,08,281 units from 8,44,046 units a year earlier. There is a good news in the two-wheeler segment, which has registered an increase of 3.92 per cent during the 2013 calendar year. “The increase in two-wheeler sales is supported by a strong rural economy, which is on the back of good monsoons,” said Mathur.

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