‘However, high interest rates, falling rupee still loom large on the market’

Amid the prolonged slowdown, February brought good news for some automobile makers. Companies, including Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai saw an uptick in their sales, mainly driven by recent price cuts following the lowering of excise duty in the ‘vote-on-account’ interim budget.

Maruti Suzuki India sold 99,758 units in the domestic market in February, up 1.80 per cent compared with 97,955 units in the same month last year.

Hyundai Motor India’s (HMIL) domestic sales increased marginally to 34,005 units in February 2013.

“Post the reduction in excise duty, inquiry inflow has increased with February sales of 34,005 units, a growth of 2 per cent over the earlier month, and it is expected that this would lead towards creation of a positive momentum,” HMIL Senior Vice-President-Sales and Marketing Rakesh Srivastava said.

Honda Cars India reported a over two-fold increase in domestic sales at 14,543 units in February, mainly led by the new ‘City’.

“We are happy to see the huge demand for the all new Honda City which has gained the leadership position in its segment from the first month itself,” HCIL Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said.

The company sold 7,213 units of its premium sedan, City, during the month.

Similarly, Ford India’s domestic sales were up 51.42 per cent at 6,799 units in February as against 4,490 units in the same month in the previous year.

“...The recent reductions in excise duty should provide a positive message to customers and encourage them to make the most of the outstanding value being offered on our smart, safe and fuel-efficient products,” Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service) Vinay Piparsania said.

On the other hand, Mahindra & Mahindra’s domestic sales stood at 39,338 units last month, as against 44,399 in the same month in the previous year, down 11.39 per cent year-on-year.

“The auto industry has received the much needed boost in terms of an excise duty reduction and this has resulted in higher inquiries over the last one week,” M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a 20.82 per cent fall in its domestic sales at 10,100 units in February 2014. “The excise duty cut is a welcome step taken by the government to revive sale. However, other factors such as high interest rates, falling value of rupee and unstable fuel pricing still loom large on the market,” TKM Senior Vice-President (sales and marketing) N. Raja said.

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