Four-wheeler sales cross the two-million mark in 2011-12

Difficult economic situation led to a steep drop in car sales growth, just 2.19 per cent, in the last fiscal, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said here on Tuesday while releasing the auto sales figures for 2011-12.

However, car and motorcycle segments crossed major landmarks of 20-lakh unit and one-crore unit sales, respectively, during the fiscal.

Notably, car sales could have shown negative growth, but the fear of excise duty hike in the budget 2012-13 led to surge in sales in the last quarter, particularly in March, when several carmakers recorded their highest-ever sales.

“Car sales grew by just 2.19 per cent in 2011-12 (slowest in two years)…we expect the growth to be around 10-12 per cent in the ongoing fiscal on better macro economic prospects,” SIAM President S. Sandilya told journalists. However, for the first time, car sales crossed the two-million unit (20-lakh) mark.

The car industry suffered due to high interest rates, inflation and rising fuel prices in the last fiscal, while strike at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) also dropped supplies, thus, affecting overall sales.

“With the indications from the Reserve Bank of India that interest rates may come down and the overall GDP expected to be around 7.5-8 per cent, the prospects for the auto industry is good for the ongoing fiscal,” he added.

In 2011-12, total car sales stood at over 20.16-lakh units as against 19.72-lakh units in 2010-11. In March, 2012, car sales rose by 19.66 per cent to 2.29-lakh units from 1.92-lakh units in March, 2011. In 2010-11, carmakers had registered a 29 per cent growth while it stood at 25 per cent in 2009-10. In 2011-12, Maruti Suzuki led the pack with sales of 8.55 units, followed by Hyundai at 3.87-lakh units and Tata Motors at 2.57-lakh units.

Bike sales

For the two-wheeler market, SIAM is expecting a growth of 13-14 per cent in the current fiscal.

“Two-wheeler continues to show good growth. While motorcycles are on a big base, there is still growth and the share of rural sales has reached to 40 per cent of the total,” Mr. Sandilya added. Total two-wheeler sales stood at over 1.34-crore in 2011-12 against 1.17-crore in 2010-11. Interestingly, bike sales crossed the one-crore mark in the last fiscal.

Interestingly, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) became the third largest two-wheeler company, overtaking Chennai-based TVS Motor Company.

Keywords: Car salesauto salesSIAM