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New record! Indians bought 189,008 cars in Feb alone

Last updated on: March 9, 2011 17:25 IST

New record! Indians bought 189,008 cars in Feb alone

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Domestic passenger car sales touched a record 189,008 units in February this year, a growth of 22.63 per cent vis-a-vis the figure for the same month of 2010, as customers advanced their purchases fearing a possible excise duty hike in the Budget.

According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, February sales bettered the previous high of 1,84,332 units achieved in January this year.

Total sales of vehicles across categories registered 21.32 per cent growth to 13,70,932 units in February, 2011, from 11,30,037 units in the same month last year, it added.

The industry body, however, said car sales growth rates could moderate to around 14-16 per cent in the next fiscal, as the sector will have to overcome the challenges of high interest rates and rising commodity prices.

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Photographs: Reuters
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"At some point, vehicle manufacturers have to rationalise prices (to offset rising input costs). Moreover the base has been growing, so growth rate will come down," SIAM director-general Vishnu Mathur said in New Delhi.

In the April-February period this fiscal, car sales grew by 30.34 per cent to 17,88,503 units from 13,72,192 units in the same period a year ago.

Car sales growth in February was led by Maruti Suzuki India, which sold 87,851 units, up 19.01 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd's car sales were up by 4.84 per cent to 32,503 units, while Tata Motors saw a 18.67 per cent increase in sales to 27,272 units during the month.

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Photographs: Reuters
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According to market analysts, the high car volumes seen in February were mainly on account of buyers advancing their vehicle purchases, fearing a possible price increase if the government was to hike excise duty in the Budget. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee however, retained excise at the same level at 10 per cent duty on small cars and 22 per cent on big cars in the 2011-12 Budget.

According to the SIAM data, total two-wheeler sales in February increased by 22.04 per cent to 1,02,2272 units from 8,37,653 units in the corresponding period last year.

Motorcycle sales grew by 20.8 per cent during the month to 7,76,051 units from 6,42,419 units in the same month last year. The growth was driven by market leader Hero Honda, which posted a 22.92 per cent increase in sales to 4,29,928 units.

Bajaj Auto Ltd posted sales of 2,05,145 units during the month, up 16.74 per cent vis-a-vis the same month a year ago.

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Photographs: Reuters
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New record! Indians bought 189,008 cars in Feb alone

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TVS Motor Co reported bike sales of 52,650 units during February, up 14.33 per cent from the corresponding month last year.

According to SIAM, total scooter sales during February stood at 1,85,460 units, up 27.15 per cent vis-a-vis the same month last year. Market leader Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India had posted sales of 78,747 units during the month, up 12.77 per cent.

Hero Honda's scooter sales in February amounted to 33,025 units, up 45.86 per cent, while that of TVS Motor Co were at 38,115 units, up 46.71 per cent from the same month last year.

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Sales of commercial vehicles climbed by 10.49 per cent to 64,057 units from 57,977 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

Medium and heavy commercial vehicles sales stood at 31,242 units during the month, up 11.37 per cent from the same month last year. Light commercial vehicles sales grew by 9.66 per cent to 32,815 units in February this year.

Three-wheeler sales totalled 49,082 units in February, up 24.03 per cent from the same month last year, SIAM said.


Photographs: Reuters
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