Mid-size blues

Mumbai: India is a land of unpredictability, and can the country’s auto sector be far behind? Of course not. The surprise news coming from that sector is that this year the Maruti 800, formerly the highest-selling car in India, has registered a near 20-per cent fall in sales in the seven-month period between January and July 2002.

The two cars riding the crest of sales are the Santro and the Indica. Against an overall sales figure of 1,66,093 between January and July 2001, the number has climbed to an impressive 1,81,517 units.

And the overall sales figures for the entire year 2001-2002 show that while the total car industry notched up a domestic sale of around 588,000 cars with a modest growth of about 2 per cent over the previous year, the Indica sales zoomed up by an astonishing 46 per cent.

In the first seven months of the year the Indica, a name once associated with the number of times its owners took it to the repair garage, was the second largest-selling car, while the Santro from the Hyundai stable has emerged the leader.

In what could prove to be a good portend for the Tata car for the future, the Indica was the highest-selling car in June (7,053) and July (8,528), while the steady performance of the Santro throughout the first seven months of this year enabled it to stay ahead.

Apart from these, mid-size sedans such as the Accent, the Corsa and the City in the C segment have also achieved high sales growth figures.