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Updated: June 9, 2010 21:03 IST

Indian auto industry records highest sales for May

PTI
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Maruti Suzuki rolled out its one millionth vehicle in the fiscal year 2009-2010.
AP Maruti Suzuki rolled out its one millionth vehicle in the fiscal year 2009-2010.

The Indian auto industry sold 12,08,851 units last month, a record sale for the month of May, fuelled by an improved economy and an increase in consumer spending.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the total sales for all categories stood at 12,08,851 units as against 9,29,917 units for the corresponding period an year—ago. The 30 per cent rise in sales is in contrast to the usual trend of lower volumes in May.

“Last month’s figures were the best ever sales for the month of May in almost all categories... Our economy is growing very rapidly. The per capita income has almost touched USD 1,000 and that’s a magical figure, which is the threshold for automobile demand,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

Besides, other factors like stable interest rates and easy availability of finance have also spurred the sales. SIAM puts domestic car sales of previous month at 1,48,481 units, against 1,13,810 units sold in May last year. This makes for an increase of 30.46 per cent.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki sold 76,120 units in May, a figure higher by 21.06 percent while rival Hyundai Motor India’s sales grew by 15.53 per cent. Similarly, Tata Motors’ sales also jumped to 18,618 units, which was 45.02 per cent higher than last year.

However, SIAM’s Director General cautioned that sales may be affected if the monsoon, which the Met department has predicted to be good this year, becomes weak. Rising inflation is another concern.

“If the government takes steps to control the money supply, then at some point of time interest rates will be under pressure. We have to track it very carefully,” Mr. Mathur said.

Sales of Two—wheeler sales in May also jumped by 28.66 per cent than in May 2009. Motorcycle sales in India during May went up by 25.80 per cent to 7,25,311 units from 5,76,537 units in the year—ago period.

The country’s largest motorcycle maker Hero Honda registered a growth of 11.74 per cent in its sales at 4,01,320 units in May 2010.

Sales in rival Bajaj Auto also shot up by 68.73 per cent to 1,91,726 units, while Chennai—based TVS Motor Company posted a 21.21 per cent growth at 52,319 units in May. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales jump by 52.24 per cent to 55,110 units.

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