Domestic passenger car sales declined by 10.43 % in April

High interest costs and a sluggish economic environment pulled down car sales for the sixth month in a row in April, the highest number of consecutive months of decline since the Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) started collating data in 1997-98.

Domestic passenger car sales declined to 1,50,789 units in April from 1,68,354 units in the year-ago period, a decline of 10.43 per cent, according to the data released by industry body SIAM here on Friday. “Weak consumer sentiment is affecting car sales. This is the sixth monthly decline in a row. It is also the longest stretch of decline since SIAM started analysing data in 1997-98… Last, it was between March 2002 and July 2002,” SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told reporters here.

He, however, added that the extent of fall in sales had been reduced due to factors such as the cut in petrol prices, which could be seen as a positive sign.

SIAM, he added, expected the declining trend to continue for the next 2-3 months. “By the end of the year, we may see 2-3 per cent positive growth, provided nothing unexpected happens,” he said.

While market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 4.89 per cent in its domestic car sales at 76,509 units during the month, rival Hyundai Motor India saw a 7.53 per cent decline in sales at 32,364 units. Sales of Tata Motors tumbled by 52.07 per cent to 8,918 units from 18,610 units during the period under review.

Motorcycle sales

According to the SIAM data, motorcycle sales in April declined by 2.06 per cent to 8,43,889 units from 8,61,608 units in the corresponding period in the previous year.

Hero MotoCorp (HMC) posted 12.5 per cent decline in bike sales at 4,32,657 units. Bajaj Auto sales dipped marginally to 1,99,838 units from 2,00,228 units in April last year. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), however, posted a 48.76 per cent increase in bike sales at 1,15,536 units.

Total domestic scooter sales in April this year stood at 2,61,475 units against 2,27,924 units in the same month last year, up 14.72 per cent.

HMC’s scooter sales rose 37.71 per cent to 55,573 units, while HMSI saw its scooter sales grow by 15.47 per cent to 1,33,769 units. Chennai-based TVS Motor Company posted a 12.45 per cent decline in scooter sales during April this year at 28,659 units.

Three-wheeler sales in the domestic market in April stood at 34,348 units as against 32,044 units in the same month last year, up 7.19 per cent. Total sales of commercial vehicles grew by 0.75 per cent to 56,678 units from 56,257 units, SIAM said.

Total sale of vehicles across categories registered a decline of 0.34 per cent to 14,67,492 units in April 2013 against 14,72,452 units in the same month of 2012, it added.

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