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More and more Indians buying cars

February 13, 2004 11:43 IST

More and more Indians are buying passenger cars, thanks to easy auto loans, low interest rates, spending power and the need to rise a notch or two above in life.

Propelled by the top three automakers -- Maruti, Hyundai and Tata Motors -- domestic car sales surged by a robust 31.1 per cent in January 2004.

A total of 71,875 units were sold in the review month over 54,813 units in January 2003, figures released on Friday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed.

Cumulative (April-January 2003-04) sales went up by 27.4 per cent to 5,55,904 units against 4,36,275 units during the year ago period.

Car sales have been on a northward drive since almost all automakers are wooing customers with low interest finance schemes which coupled with the government's announcement of an 8 per cent excise duty cut earlier.

Bus and truck sales grew by 35.5 per cent to 25,141 units over 18,545 units.

Cumulative sales in the segment jumped by 36.1 per cent year-on-year to 2,03,2679 units from 1,49,292 units.

January has traditionally been good for car sales as customers postpone their plans to buy in December but carmakers like Maruti and Tata Motors announced a price increase in the New Year citing rising input costs.

Others like Ford and General Motors followed suit.

Utility vehicle sales jumped by 31.5 per cent to 15,119 units while two-wheeler sales in the domestic market, the second-biggest in the world after China, surged by 12.5 per cent to 4,56,309 units.

Motorcycle and step-through sales grew by 14.8 per cent to 3,54,640 units, while scooter and scooterette sales clocked a 6.54 per cent rise to 73,905 units.

Moped sales also grew, albeit marginally, by 2 per cent to 27,764 units.

Sale of multi-purpose-vehicles increased by an 11.5 per cent to 6,016 units.

In the three-wheeler category, sales rose by 12 per cent to 23,810 units due to higher demand for goods carriers.

In the car segment, India's biggest carmaker Maruti Udyog posted a 35.8 per cent rise to 38,140 units, while that of second-biggest Hyundai Motor also jumped by 24.4 per cent to 12,546 units in January 2004.

Tata Motors posted a rise of an 11.5 per cent to 11,084 units, while that of Toyota Kirloskar Motor climbed over five times to 1,070 units.

The Indian units of US automakers General Motors and Ford posted 159.4 and 9.12 per cent growth at 1,458 and 1,914 units, respectively.

Sales of C K Birla group company Hindustan Motors dived by an 8 per cent to 1,557 units, but that of Honda Siel Cars India soared by 78.4 per cent to 2,606 units.

Luxury carmaker DaimlerChrysler's sales slipped by 56.7 per cent to 32 units, while the local unit of Volkswagen group company Skoda Auto sold 601 units.

The Indian arm of troubled carmaker Fiat witnessed a 14.5 per cent decline to 867 units.

In the utility-vehicle category, sales of market leader Mahindra and Mahindra grew by an impressive 25 per cent to 7,484 units.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor and Tata Motors also posted rise of 26 and 35.5 per cent to 2,754 and 3,614 units, respectively.

In the commercial vehicle segment, sale of medium and heavy (M&H) trucks and buses rocketed 37.3 per cent to 15,676 units in January 2004.

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