Utility vehicles continue to be the superstars of India’s car market with growth projections set as high as 29-31 per cent for the fiscal 2012-13, according to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday. “New model launches in recent months at attractive price points has driven this large growth in the UV sector,” said S. Sandilya, President of (SIAM), at a press conference here.
The automobile industry body is also opposing any additional taxation imposed on diesel vehicles, and is calling for standard taxation for all vehicles. “The pricing of fuel should be made market-oriented. While we understand that this is not possible immediately, a gradual increase in diesel pricing will eventually decrease the current gap between petrol and diesel prices,” said SIAM Director-General Vishnu Mathur, adding the last year had seen 45 per cent sales in diesel cars.
The accelerated growth in the utility vehicles sector in the first quarter of this fiscal explains the growth in the overall passenger vehicles (PV) sector which registered a 11 per cent growth in June. “The projections for the PV sector are based on the performance in the first quarter of this fiscal,” said Mr. Sandilya. Accordingly, projections for cars were lowered from 10-12 per cent growth to 9-11 per cent and for vans from 8-10 per cent to a mere 3-5 per cent.
Mr. Mathur said that passenger car demand might increase during the festive season later this year. “While the first quarter has shown a dip in passenger vehicles, month-wise figures show an increase in growth. There is a possibility that during festival season it will grow by 12-13 per cent,” said Mr. Mathur.
He, however, cautioned that certain factors should be consistent for such projections to see the light of the day. “The projections depend on the dollar-rupee parity remaining stable, crude oil prices remaining stable and interest rates either remaining stable or becoming more favourable.”
SIAM’s reports reveal that the growth in the three-wheeler sector has only seen a one per cent increase in the first quarter due to drop in demand in the goods carrier sector, a weak rural economy and launch of smaller four-wheeler vehicles.
“The figures for growth in commercial vehicles reflect slowing down by virtue of movement of goods being less,” pointed out Mr. Sandilya, alluding to the economic slowdown.
Keywords: automobile industry