Auto makers continue to log growth (Lead)

May 2nd, 2011 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 2 (IANS) Car and two-wheeler makers logged sales growth in April compared to the corresponding period last year despite rising vehicle prices and interest rates.

India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India closed last month with 8.9 percent domestic sales growth while for Hyundai Motor India it was 11 percent as compared to sales logged in April 2010.

However, when the export numbers are factored in, the overall growth rate falls drastically to 4.4 percent for Maruti Suzuki and to 0.1 percent for Hyundai Motor India.

Last month, Maruti Suzuki sold 97,155 units (domestic 87,144 units, exports 10,011) as against 93,058 units (80,034, 13,024) sold in April 2010.

Major growth was driven by the company’s SX4, D’Zire and Maruti 800 models, the company said.

Sales of small car models like Alto, Wagon-R, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz registered a nominal growth of 1.8 percent last month over the comparable period last year.

With its exports going down, the country’s second largest car maker Hyundai Motor India maintained near flat sales numbers last month as compared to April 2010.

Hyundai sold 52,058 units (domestic 31,636 units, exports 20,422 units) as against 52,020 units (28,501, 23,519) sold in April 2010.

The company registered 11 percent growth in domestic sales last month over April 2010.

According to Arvind Saxena, director of marketing and sales, the rising interest rates have led to reduced enquiries and the conversion rate too has slowed down.

“We expect the same trend to continue in the coming months,” Saxena said.

The segment-wise cumulative sales for the month of April, 2011 are as follows: A2 segment (Santro, i10, i20) 46,779 units; A3 Segment (Accent and Verna) 5,227 units; A5 segment (Sonata Transform) 20 units; Santa Fe (SUV) 32 units.

Tata Motors sold more than 10,000 units of Nano, touted as the world’s cheapest family car, in April - a 184-percent hike in sales as compared to April 2010, the company announced Sunday.

Overall vehicle sales recorded a 13 percent growth over April last year.

As many as 10,012 Nanos were sold out of total passenger vehicle sales of 25,436 units. Sales of both the Indica and the Indigo models dipped - 4,250 units (down 53 percent over April 2010) and 5,282 units (down 27 percent over last April) respectively.

The Sumo/Safari/Aria/Venture range accounted for sales of 3,843 units, a 15 percent rise over April last year.

The company’s total sales - commercial and passenger vehicles including exports - in April 2011 were 64,383 units as against 57,199 units sold in April 2010.

Tata Motors sold 60,125 units domestically, logging a growth of 11 percent over 54,062 units sold in April 2010.

According to the company, the sales of commercial vehicles totalled 36,783 units - 22,802 of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and 13,936 units of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs;).

In the passenger vehicles segment, Tata Motors reported total sale and distribution of 25,436 units last month compared to 23,899 units sold during April last year.

The company’s sales from exports at 4,258 vehicles in April 2011 registered a growth of 36 percent compared to 3,137 vehicles in April last year.

Ford India, the Indian arm of American auto giant Ford Motor Company, sold 7,319 units.

The Bangalore based Toyota Kirloskar Motor sold 9,681 units last month logging a 61 percent growth over comparable period previous year.

The company’s Etios model accounted for 4,657 units, according to a statement.

According to Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, the company lost around 2,900 units production due to adjustment in the wake of earthquake and tsunami in Japan affecting supplies of components.

However, the actual impact of the temporary production adjustment will be felt in the month of May, as the company will operate at 30 percent of its normal capacity of 150,000 units per annum.

Two- and three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto registered 17 percent sales growth last month selling 367,309 units (motorcycles 322,235 units, commercial vehicles 45,074 units).

The company’s exports last month was 39 percent higher compared to April 2010 figures.

On the other hand, rival TVS Motor Company Ltd opened fiscal 2011-12 with 14 percent sales growth in April compared to same period in the previous fiscal, the company said. The Rs.6,289 crore company sold 167,744 units last month.

TVS Motor sold 164,183 two-wheelers (domestic 141,619 units, exports 22,564 units) in April. It sold 35,074 scooters and 69,573 motorcycles in April as against 26,860 units and 66,000 units respectively sold in April 2010.

According to the company, three-wheeler sales last month stood at 3,561 units up from 2,483 units sold during April 2010.

Japanese two-wheeler maker India Yamaha Motor sold 34,476 units (domestic 25,817 units, exports 8,659 units) as against 24,968 units sold in April 2010.

Hiroyuki Suzuki, CEO and MD, said: “Our marketing and promotion activities are on track and we hope to sustain this growth for the rest of the year. We are also strengthening our sales and service network in the tier II and tier III cities to further increase our reach to the customer base in the inner parts of the country.”

Another Japanese two wheeler company, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, sold 136,623 units (motorcycles 61,515 units, scooters 75,108 units) last month.

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