Domestic car sales remained sluggish in the first month of the current fiscal. While Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) and Tata Motors reported a fall in their sales in April, Maruti Suzuki India and Mahindra & Mahindra saw a marginal rise .

Market leader Maruti Suzuki’s sales grew 0.3 per cent to 90,523 units in April from 90,255 units in the year-ago period.

Hyundai Motor India, the second largest car maker by sales, reported a 7.60 per cent decline in domestic sales to 32,403 units (35,070 units).

“The domestic market continues to witness pressure... there are signs of recovery with the increase in demand for petrol cars,” Hyundai Motor India Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.

Passenger vehicle sales of home-grown auto major Tata Motors tumbled by 48.94 per cent to 11,570 units during the month from 22,658 units in the same month last year.

Mahindra & Mahindra’s sales of passenger vehicles, which include Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, rose marginally to 20,748 units (20,554 units).

“We remain cautiously optimistic of the current situation and do hope that with the much awaited and much needed reduction in interest rates announcement by the RBI, the auto industry will look up,” M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said. The price increases due to hike in excise duty to 30 per cent from 27 per cent on SUVs had started having negative impact on sales, he added.

The company is “extremely disappointed that the additional 3 per cent excise duty on SUVs has not been reversed in the Finance Bill, which would have brought about some cheer and momentum for SUV makers and provided them with a level playing field,” Mr. Shah said.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported 37.36 per cent drop in sales at 9,007 units. It had sold 14,378 units in the same month last year.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said, “The market continues to be sluggish and is expected to take some time to revive. We have taken measures to reduce inventory, both at ours and at the dealers end.”

Ford India’s domestic sales went down by 44.41 per cent to 4,003 units during the month under review from 7,201 units in the same month last year.

On the other hand, Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) posted a 19.97 per cent rise in sales at 8,488 units (7,075 units).

The company is betting big on its recently launched sedan Amaze to push growth in 2013-14. “Amaze has received tremendous response from customers despite the slowdown in the industry. We are confident that Amaze will drive our growth in this fiscal,” HCIL Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen said.

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