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Sign of recovery: India's auto sales soar

Last updated on: April 01, 2010 15:54 IST

TrafficIndia's automobile sector put in an impressive show with most of the auto majors registering impressive sales figures in March.

Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday reported a growth of 11.04 per cent in its total sales in March at 95,123 units, boosted by the best ever monthly export figures.

The company had sold 85,669 units during the same month last year, Maruti Suzuki India said.

It also reported a rise of 28.55 per cent in its annual sales during the 2009-10 fiscal at 10,18,365 units, as against 7,92,167 units during the previous fiscal, helped by a spate of new launches and product refreshments.

This was also the first time ever that an Indian car maker had crossed the one million units mark for sales in a single year.

In March, MSI sold 79,530 units in the domestic market compared to 73,855 units in the same month of 2009, registering an increase of 7.68 per cent.

Exports surged by 31.99 per cent to 15,593 units from 11,814 units in the year-ago period, it added.

This is the highest ever monthly export by the car maker, breaking the previous record of 14,847 units achieved in August 2009, the company said.

However, sales of the company's once bread-and-butter model M800 fell by 13.66 per cent at 2,430 units compared to 2,762 units in March 2009, it added.

Incidentally, the car -- the oldest model from MSI's portfolio -- is being phased out from 13 cities from today in line with the new emission norms which have come into effect.

The A2 segment (comprising Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz) also witnessed a fall of 1.18 per cent in sales during March at 54,763 units compared to 55,415 units in the same month a year ago.

In the A3 segment, sales (consisting of SX4 and DZiRE) increased by 21.61 per cent in March to 10,453 units compared with 8,595 units in the same period a year ago, MSI said.

Sales of C segment (Omni, Versa and Eeco) jumped by 80.62 per cent at 10,875 units, as against 6,021 units in March 2009.

MSI's total passenger car sales rose 8.82 per cent at 78,853 units in March as against 72,461 units in the same month in 2009, it added.

During 2009-10, MSI created history by becoming the first car company in India to produce over a million units in a financial year.

It achieved the feat on March 23, when the one millionth vehicle, a Swift, was rolled out from its Manesar facility.

Subsequently, it crossed the one million sales mark on March 30.

The company said a spate of new launches and product refreshments helped it clock the good performance.

They included the Ritz, the new Grand Vitara, the new Estilo with K-Series engine, new SX4 with VVT engine and SXR with automatic transmission and the Eeco.

During the fiscal, MSI registered a growth of 20.58 per cent in domestic sales at 8,70,790 units, as against 7,22,144 units sold in 2008-09.

The A2 segment grew by 23.82 per cent during the year to 6,33,190 units compared to 5,11,396 units in 2008-09.

The A3 segment registered a 30.80 per cent rise to 99,315 units as against 75,928 units in the previous fiscal, MSI said.

Exports surged over two-fold to reach 1,47,575 units during 2009-10, as against 70,023 units in the previous fiscal. It was primarily driven by the company's flagship export model A-Star which clocked a figure of 1,27,000 units in overseas sales.

MSI also announced plans to expand its capacity to 12.5 lakh (1.25 million) units by 2012. In March, it had announced investment to the tune of Rs 1,700 crore (Rs 17 billion) to increase the capacity of its Maneasr plant by 2,50,000 units.

Hyundai records highest domestic sales: Hyundai Motor India reported on Thursday its highest ever domestic sales at 31,501 units and posted a jump of 27.26 per cent over the same month a year ago.

The company had sold 24,754 units in the domestic market in March 2009, Hyundai Motor India Ltd said.

The domestic sales of the company is the highest since 1998, when HMIL launched its flagship small car Santro, it added.

The company's total sales soared by 19.23 per cent to 55,035 units against 46,159 units in the year-ago period. Exports of the company grew 9.95 per cent to 23,534 units from 21,405 units in the year-ago period, the statement said.

In its A2 segment (Santro, i10, i20 and Getz Prime), the company sold 50,715 units, while in the A3 (Accent and Verna) sales were at 4,276 units.

The A5 segment (Sonata Transform) of HMIL witnessed sales of 44 units, while its SUV Tucson received no buyer during the month.

For the entire 2009-10 financial year, HMIL registered 20.79 per cent jump in its total sales at 6,00,588 units against 4,97,206 units in the previous fiscal.

"As we close the financial year, it is reassuring to see the market retain its buoyancy, which was triggered by the government's timely announcement of the stimulus package and the consequent reduction in interest rates for car finance," HMIL director (marketing and sales) Arvind Saxena said.

These factors positively affected the market and kept demand high over the last year, he added.

Ford India reports over three-fold jump in sales: Carmaker Ford India on Thursday reported an over three-fold jump in its March sales at 9,478 units on the back of its newly-launched hatchback Figo getting a good response.

Figo has already over 10,000 bookings in the last four weeks, Ford India said in a statement.

The company had sold a total of 3,127 units in March 2009. "In view of the market response to the Figo we will be ramping up its output by moving into a second shift of production at our Chennai facility though we have not finalised the time for it yet," Ford India marketing sales and services executive director Nigel Wark told PTI.

The Chennai facility has a production capacity of 100,000 units, which is now being increased to 200,000 units as part of the company's $500-million investment plan.

Besides, the facility also has a capacity of 2,50,000 units of engines per annum.

Wark said there will not be any price hike on Figo and Ikon due the the new emission norms, but there will be marginal hike of 1-2 per cent in prices of SUV Endeavour and sedan Fiesta.

The company said all its models, including the Ikon, Fiesta and Endeavour performed well during March.

GM India's Mar sales at 11,330 units: General Motors India reported a over two-fold jump in sales at 11,330 units in March, its highest ever in a month in 13 years of operations, on the back of strong showing by its small cars Beat and Spark.

The company had sold 5,001 units in the same month last year, General Motors India said in a statement. "Introduction of best-in-segment cars from the 300 series, increase in customer outreach through distribution network, our unique value proposition like Chevrolet Cashless Ownership offer are the factors that have led to the impressive sales," GM India vice-president P Balendran said.

The March sales beat the previous monthly record of 11,111 units made by the company in February this year. GM India said the robust sales in March has been led by its two small cars -- Beat and Spark.

The company sold 3,266 units of the hatchback Spark, 715 units of the sedan Cruze and 4,508 units of the latest compact car Beat in the reporting month, it added.

It also sold 454 units of premium hatchback Aveo U-Va, 419 units of the entry-level sedan Aveo, 135 units of the mid- sized sedan Optra, 1,654 units of the multi-utility vehicle Tavera and 179 units of the SUV Captiva.

"We are pleased to see such robust growth for all our car lines and we believe these world class products will further propel the Chevrolet brand in the market," Balendran said.

M&M domestic sales up 16%: Homegrown auto maker Mahindra & Mahindra LtdĀ reported on Thursday an increase of 16.30 per cent in domestic sales for March at 29,944 units.

The company had sold 25,748 units in the domestic market during the same month last year, Mahindra & Mahindra said.

Total utility vehicle sales, including Scorpio, Xylo, Bolero and Pick-Ups, stood at 20,914 units against 19,973 units in March 2009, showing a jump of 4.71 per cent, it added. Sales of sedan Logan from Mahindra Renault Pvt Ltd, however, fell by 63.51 per cent to 351 units during the month against 962 units in the same month a year ago.

The company said the sales of three-wheelers, compact truck Gio and mini truck Maxximo during March jumped by 90.33 per cent at 7,695 units against 4,043 units during the same month last year.

Light commercial vehicle sales from Mahindra Navistar Automotives Ltd during the month were at 984 units against 770 units in the same month a year ago, a jump of 27.79 per cent.

Exports during the month jumped nearly four fold to 1,754 units against 461 units during March 2009.

For the entire fiscal 2009-10, domestic sales stood at 2,86,713 units against 2,20,215 units for the same period last year, an increase of 30.20 per cent, the company said.

Exports during the fiscal also rose by 24.32 per cent to 10,567 units from 8,500 units in 2008-09.

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