India’s automobile industry today reported a 26.41 per cent growth in sales in 2009-10 riding on the government’s stimulus packages that perked demand, making it the second fastest growing market in the world after China.

Buoyed by the robust performance, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) forecast 10-14 per cent growth for the industry during 2010-11.

According to the figures released by SIAM, total vehicles sales in India in the last fiscal was at 1,22,92,770 units compared to 97,24,243 units in the previous financial year.

“This year (FY10) was one of the best years for growth. When we started the year, we did not expect such high growth, we are pleasantly surprised,” SIAM President Pawan Goenka told reporters here.

He said a variety of factors, including the stimulus package, lower interest rates, implementation of the 6th pay commission and new model launches, helped the industry register the growth.

The strong sales have made India the second fastest growing market after China that had a 42 per cent growth last year followed by Germany with 23 per cent even as many other markets in the world witnessed a negative growth.

Sales in the domestic market were driven mainly by the car and the two-wheeler segment that posted 25.10 per cent and 26 per cent increase respectively.

In 2009-10, domestic passenger car sales rose by 25.10 per cent to 15,26,787 units from 12,20,475 units in the April-March period of the earlier fiscal.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki’s sales during the last fiscal jumped 20.23 per cent at 7,65,526 units, while that of its rival Hyundai Motor’s increased 29.07 per cent at 3,14,967 units. Tata Motors witnessed a rise of 25.54 per cent at 2,01,399 units, SIAM said.

Motorcycle sales in the country during the year were up by 25.88 per cent at 73,41,139 units against 58,31,953 units in 2008-09, SIAM said.

The country’s largest bike maker Hero Honda’s sales rose by 23.14 per cent at 42,93,991 units. Bajaj Auto saw its sales climbing by 39.59 per cent to 17,81,748 units in FY’10.

Total two-wheeler sales in FY’10 also increased by 26 per cent at 93,71,231 units compared to 74,37,619 units in FY’09.

The sale of commercial vehicles in 2008-09 increased by 38.31 per cent to 5,31,395 units from 3,84,194 units for the previous fiscal, SIAM said.

When asked about the outlook for this fiscal, Mr. Goenka said, “Overall the industry is in good shape and most of us are positive about FY'11. We have some concerns and if no major surprises happens, we should have good growth of 10-14 per cent for the industry.”

The auto industry might witness some obstacles due to strengthening of commodity prices, excise duty rise, hiking of interest rates and price increase of vehicles due to the new emission norms, leading to an average 8-10 per cent hike on the prices, he added.

In March, domestic passenger car sales continued to surge clocking 20.08 per cent jump to 1,55,600 units compared to 1,29,585 units in the same month last year.

Motorcycle sales for the last month were up 35.70 per cent to 7,08,349 against 5,21,993 units in the year-go period, SIAM said.

Total two-wheeler sales in March also jumped by 40.69 per cent at 9,20,133 units compared to 6,54,010 units last March.

Commercial vehicle sales during the month rose by 61.16 per cent to 67,362 units against 41,797 units for the year-ago period, SIAM said.

Total vehicle sales in March soared by 37.23 per cent to 12,26,944 units against 8,94,079 units in the same month last year.

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