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Indian car sales show roller coaster results in May news
02 June 2009

The Indian automobile industry showed a roller coaster sale results in May 2009 with sales of Maruti Suzuki going up the roller coaster while that of Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hyundai Motors and GM India sliding.

The country's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki was the only car manufacturer to record a fifth straight rise in monthly vehicle sales in May, with sales growing 16 per cent to 79,872 vehicles including exports of 9,087 cars from 69,001 a year earlier.

In its small car segment, the Alto, Wagon-R, Zen, Swift, A-star, sales grew by 20.7 per cent at 53,760 units sold in May compared to 44,539 in the same period of last year.

The Maruti Alto being sold in the UK as the Suzuki Alto, has become a hit with British consumers since a brand new Suzuki Alto is sold for just about 4,700 - thanks to the scrappage scheme introduced last month, which is expected to drive the automobile sector out of recession. Auto dealers and the British government will together provide the remaining 2,000 pounds. (See: Suzuki's India-made Alto a hit in the UK)

Around 1,500 Suzuki Altos were sold in the UK even before the scheme came into being.

This is in sharp contrast to the sales figures of Tata Motors, M&M, and Hyundai Motors, all of whom, posted negatives sales results with Tata Motors sales were 38,392 units, an 11 per cent decline over 42,916 units sold in May last year.

The passenger vehicle business reported a total sale and distribution off-take of 16,563 units in the domestic market in May 2009, compared to 19,685 units in May 2008, and 14,615 units in April 2009, but the Indica range still managed a 3 per cent growth.

The company's sales from exports was1,804 vehicles in May 2009, a decline by 47 per cent compared to 3,423 vehicles in May 2008.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd, the country's second largest car manufacturer and the largest passenger car exporter, reported total sales for May, 2009 stood at 43,628 units against 40,261 units in May, 2008.

Its domestic sales saw a 4.11 per cent decline as it accounted for 23,503 units as against 24,510 units last May while its export sales grew from 15,751 units in May 2008 to 20,125 units in May 2009.

Commenting on May, 2009 sales Arvind Saxena, senior vice president, marketing and sales, HMIL, said, ''Our cumulative sales growth is driven by the demand for our cars from the overseas market. EU countries had taken the initiative of reviving auto sales by introducing various incentives like the scrappage incentive, which clearly demonstrates that incentives do work in revving markets and as the demand for our cars grew in the EU market we were forced to adjust our domestic production to address the needs of this unique market opportunity.''

Employees of Hyundai's factory in Chennai had gone on strike last month demanding recognition of the employee union, formed in 2007 as the CITU-led employee union was pressing for recognition and also demanding re-instatement of dismissed employees, hiking basic wages and reducing the performance-linked pay component in employee salaries.

The18-day strike was called off after the state labour commissioner held parleys with the union and management and came to an agreement. (See: Hyundai strike called off)

Mahindra & Mahindra, a market leader in multi-utility vehicles in India, reported that its sales fell an annual 18 per cent in May, to some extent due to the shutdown of a plant because of labour problems at its Nashik plant. (See: Strike hits production at Mahindra & Mahindra's Nasik plant)

However, the company posted strong sales in the tractors segment as domestic sales registered a 46 per cent increase with 12870 units sold in May 2009 as compared to 8825 units sold for the same period last year.

General Motors India also saw sales decline by 11.74 per cent. The company sales stood at 5,109 units in May 2009, compared to a sale of 5,789 for the same period in May 2008.

In the two-wheeler segment, the country's biggest motorcycle maker by sales, Hero Honda posted a 22.5 per cent rise in May sales at 382,678 vehicles, compared with 312,317 a year earlier.

On the reverse side, Chennai-based TVS Motors sales declined for the first time in 4 months as sales fell by 2.15 per cent with 75,981 motorcycles sold in May compared to over 77,648 sold in the same month last year.

Sales of TVS Motors grew 5 per cent at 1.18 lakh units in May 2009 compared to 1.12 lakh units last year while Suzuki Motorcycle posted strong sales with 12,734 bikes sold in May 2009, compared to 10,845 units sold last year, a 17.42 per cent increase.

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Indian car sales show roller coaster results in May