Festive season end dampens car sales

After a record-breaking festival season, car sales moderated in November, but two-wheeler sales continued to remain buoyant.

Maruti Suzuki, the country's top car maker, sold a total of 112,554 vehicles last month, a 28-per cent rise over November 2009 figures. It crossed the one-lakh unit sales mark for the second consecutive month in the domestic market at 102,503 units while the exports stood at 10,051 units. However, the growth numbers below October sales.

Maruti sold 74,063 units in the A2 segment, which includes Alto, WagonR, Zen, Swift, A-Star and Ritz, last month, a growth of 32 per cent over 56,005 units in November 2009. It also recorded 76.5 per cent growth in C segment, which includes the Omni, Versa and Eeco.

Hyundai Motors India Ltd reported 19.4 per cent decline in sales at 44,542 units from 55,241 units in November 2009. Arvind Saxena, director, marketing and sales, HMIL, said in a statement, ''Spurred by the festive season demand in November, HMIL continued to maintain steady growth in the domestic market although we were constrained because of the maintenance shutdown of both our plants. In December we expect the market to continue its growth trend.''

The only one to record declining sales was Tata Motors. It recorded a 28 per cent decline in car sales in the last month as compared to November last year. It sold 16,365 units (15,340 Tata and 1,025 Fiat) in the domestic market, compared with 22,671 units (20,706 Tata and 1,965 Fiat) in November last year. Sales of world's cheapest car - Nano - were at an all-time low at 509 units, down 85 per cent from November last year.

In sharp contrast, Ford India reported a 198-per cent sales growth as it sold 7,504 units in November versus 2,520 units sold a year ago. Sales of the Ford Figo continued to be buoyant with more than 58,000 units sold since its launch in March this year. The company is in the process of strengthening its sales and service network.