Auto sales continue positive, show 15.6% sales growth in August

Continuing the uptrend in the automotive industry, car sales in India grew for the fourth successive month in August, an increase of 15.16 per cent over the previous year.

Data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) today showed that domestic car sales in August this year stood at 1,53,758 units compared to 1,33,513 units in the same month of 2013.

"The auto industry is seeing a gradual increase and even the cumulative numbers are seeing improvements month-on-month. We can see a slow turnaround happening," SIAM director- general Vishnu Mathur told reporters in New Delhi.

In the April-August quarter of this, car sales have grown by 5.24 per cent to 7,35,873 units as against 6,99,263 units in the year-ago period.

Mathur cautioned that the fundamentals have not changed dramatically, although economic recovery has started which could have positive impact on overall sales.

"Sentiments have played a big role in car sales growth, as interest rates are still high and companies are still offering hefty discounts," Mathur said.

New model launches such as Honda Mobilio and Hyundai Elite i20 have also helped increase sales during the month.

In August, car market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 30.43 per cent in domestic sales at 82,823 units as against 63,499 units in the same month last year.

Its closest rival Hyundai Motor India saw its sales grow by 18.78 per cent to 33,593 units as compared to 28,281 units in the same month last year.

Honda Cars India posted a growth of 27.39 per cent in domestic sales at 11,166 units as against 8,765 units in the year-ago month.

Sales of Tata Motors sales were down 6.07 per cent to 8,229 units as against 8,761 units in August 2013, showing that potential car-buyers still feel their vehicles are shoddily engineered and prone to minor glitches.

Utility vehicles leader Mahindra & Mahindra, another domestic company, saw sales during the month falling by 6.42 per cent to 13,911 units as against 14,866 units last year.

Car sales in India had fallen for the second consecutive fiscal in 2013-14, with a drop of 4.65 per cent as the auto industry continued to struggle with demand slump due to a sluggish economy.

Bajaj Auto loses bike race
According to SIAM, motorcycle sales during the month grew by 14.45 per cent to 9,10,312 units as against 7,95,411 units in August last year.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its sales grow by 23.67 per cent to 4,88,739 units as against 3,95,180 units in the same month last year.

Rival Bajaj Auto posted a sales of 1,37,347 units as against 1,50,989 units last year, down 9 per cent.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) posted a growth of 6.3 per cent at 1,53,120 units as against 1,44,039 units in August 2103.

According to SIAM, total scooter sales in August 2014 were at 3,69,323 units as compared to 2,83,142 units in the same month last year, up 30.44 per cent.

Scooter market leader Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India posted a growth of 47.52 per cent at 2,17,751 units as against 1,47,600 units in the year-ago month.

Hero MotoCorp saw its scooter sales down by 14.92 per cent to 46,764 units as against 54,966 units last year.

On the other hand, Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its scooter sales zoom by 92.37 per cent to 64,372 units as against 33,462 units last year.

Total two-wheeler sales in August 2014 grew by 19.22 per cent to 13,45,506 units from 11,28,631 units in the same period of the previous year.

Total sales of commercial vehicles (CV) were down by 5.59 per cent to 48,473 units from 51,344 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

"Our key concern is the commercial vehicles segment. It is still in the negative territory, although growth is coming back in the category," Mathur said.

He said with economic recovery taking place, some mining activities starting again and infrastructure spending coming back again, the segment should also see recovery.

"By the end of the year, the CV segment may or may not be in positive territory but it will continue to improve," Mathur said.

Total sale of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 17.54 per cent to 16,60,437 units in August 2014 as against 14,12,602 units in the same month of 2013, SIAM said.