Driven by record sales in passenger car and two-wheeler segments, the Indian automobile industry posted its best ever monthly sales of 12,37,461 units in July, beating the previous high achieved in March 2010.

According to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday, automobile sales grew by 31.50 per cent to 12,37,461 units in July compared to 9,41,070 units in the same month last year.

“The growth in the automobile industry during July was mainly due to good growth in the passenger car segment, scooters and mopeds as new model launches, penetration into rural markets and availability of finances continue to boost sales,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

He said the previous best ever sales were achieved in March this year with 12,26,944 units.

Passenger car sales in July were also the best ever attained in a month at 1,58,764 units, beating the previous high of 1,55,600 units in March. The sales jumped by 37.95 per cent over 1,15,084 units in July 2009.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki’s domestic sales grew by 26.83 per cent to 76,111 units in July, while rival Hyundai Motor India also registered 24.22 per cent growth at 28,811 units. Tata Motors’ sales jumped by 69.31 per cent to 24,613 units during the month.

Mr. Mathur also said the total two-wheeler sales achieved in July at 9,38,514 units were the all-time high, surpassing the previous record of 9,36,555 in May. Sales of two-wheelers were up 30.41 per cent over 7,19,656 units in July 2009.

“Availability of finance and hardening of interest rates will be challenges, which we are seeing on the horizon now, in the months to come,” he said.

Motorcycle sales in India during July also went up by 30.09 per cent to 7,10,621 units compared to 5,46,233 units in the year-ago period.

The country’s largest motorcycle maker Hero Honda posted a growth rate of 13.96 per cent in sales at 3,89,795 units in July 2010. Rival Bajaj Auto saw sales soaring by 76.01 per cent to 1,92,138 units.

While Chennai-based TVS Motor Company posted a 37.51 per cent growth at 43,888 units in July, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales jumping by 43.30 per cent to 55,540 units.

In the scooter segment, sales jumped by 35.65 per cent to 1,67,195 units against 1,23,259 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

HMSI’s scooter sales were up by 13.79 per cent at 75,180 units, while TVS Motor’s scooter sales grew by 46.06 per cent in July at 38,453 units. Hero Honda’s scooter sales jumped by 39.87 per cent to 24,776 units in the last month.

The commercial vehicles segment carried forward the upward trend that began in July 2009, with sales in last month going up by 36.99 per cent to 51,481 units from 37,580 units in the year-ago period, according to the latest SIAM data.

Light commercial vehicle sales rose 25.28 per cent in July to 26,912 units from 21,481 units. Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales surged by 52.61 per cent to 24,569 units compared to 16,099 units in the same month last year.

Three-wheeler sales during July were up 25.44 per cent at 45,373 units compared to 36,171 units, SIAM added.