With the onset of the festive season, the domestic automobile market showed some recovery with car makers such as Maruti Suzuki, Honda and Ford posting an increase in sales in September, while others, including Hyundai and Toyota, reported a marginal decline.

Two-wheeler makers Hero MotoCorp as well as Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India reported healthy growth during the month, riding on good monsoon.

Amit Kaushik, Principal Analyst, IHS Automotive, India, told The Hindu, “We see this current sales rebound as temporary seasonal adjustment on account of expected festive demand.”

“Currently, the market seems to be more products-oriented instead of being sentiment driven, and innovative products are the key drivers of this temporary demand. We don’t see any sustained market rebound before next year general elections,” he added.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a 1.8 per cent rise in sales at 90,399 units during the month. The company said sales of its compact sedan Dzire rose by 42.9 per cent to 16,708 units from 11,694 units in September last year.

Riding on the success of its entry level sedan Amaze, Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) posted 88 per cent jump in sales at 10,354 units.

“We are happy to see the huge demand for Honda Amaze and Brio. The sales figures have set a positive tone for the upcoming festive season,” HCIL Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said.

Ford India saw 36.51 per cent rise in its sales at 10,640 units on the back of the newly launched compact sports utility vehicle EcoSport.

On the other hand, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) sales declined marginally to 12,015 units from 12,115 units.

“The market continues to be sluggish. We hope that the market will improve with the upcoming festive season,” company Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said.

Likewise, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.’s (HMIL) sales stood at 30,601 units during the said month, down from 30,851 units in September, 2012.

Big challenge

“In the current market scenario, volume growth is a big challenge...We expect the market challenges to continue and have a cautious optimism for upcoming festive season,” HMIL Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava, said.

Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle sales stood at 12,879 units, down by 40.51 per cent. Likewise, Mahindra & Mahindra’s (M&M) sales declined by 10.35 per cent to 40,574 units.

General Motors India posted a 4.79 per cent decline in sales at 7,048 units. GM India Vice-President P. Balendran, however, said the company expected the market to show some improvement closer to the festive season.

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