Auto sales soar amid robust demand in January

January brought new year cheer for India's auto makers as sales soared in a reviving economy. While car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd sold 95,649 vehicles in all including 14,562 units by way of exports in January 2010 versus 71,779 in January 2009, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) India's second largest car maker reported a 40.8 per cent growth in domestic sales and 42.6 per cent increase in exports. The company's total sales for January 2010 were 52,635 vehicles as against 37,171 vehicles in January 2009.

According to HMIL director of marketing and sales, Arvind Saxena the company had started the year on the right note and hoped to keep the momentum going with the help of the stimulus package offered by the government.

Commercial and passenger vehicles major Tata Motors posted a 77 per cent growth (YoY) in its total sales at 65,478 units for the month of January 2010 as against 36,931 units. The company's domestic sales were up at 74 per cent and stood at 62,202 units even as its exports grossed 3,276 units as against 1,227 units (YoY).

Sales for the Nano in January were at 4,001 units as other passenger vehicle sales rose 43 per cent at 28,547 units and the company's commercial vehicle sales reached 35,957 units versus 17,373 units in January 2009.

General Motors India was also on an upswing recording a rise of 139 per cent at 9,421 units as against 3,937 units in January 2009, which was the highest-ever monthly sales figure posted by the company. The company's latest offering Chevrolet Beat grossed 10,000 bookings in 24 days.

Meanwhile, India currently the 11th-largest passenger car market, is set to become the seventh-largest in the next five years, according to Ernst & Young.

By 2030 India would become the third-biggest market after China and the US. India sees an additional 1.5 million cars every year on its roads and according to experts sales could explode which, it is feared, would greatly increase India's greenhouse gas emissions.

In a move that would have been unthinkable under normal circumstances, car makers in India went aggressively rural as the global recession impacted the urban customer. The move apparently paid off handsome dividends with rural sales increasing 100 per cent over the past fiscal.