Car sales to fall in 10 years despite growth in January (Lead)

February 8th, 2012 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Car sales grew for the third straight month in January by 7.2 percent, but the industry for the first time since 2002 is expected to miss its annual sales target of up to 2 percent, data released by the manufacturers Wednesday showed.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said car sales had picked up in the last three months. But it did not expect the sales to boom as factors such as fuel and interest costs still hampered growth.

“Even if we grow at this rate (10-12 percent) in February and March, which is unlikely, we may miss our target (0 to 2 percent in 2011-12),” Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, told IANS.

“Car sales are hampered by high fuel and interest costs,” he said.

In January, car sales projections in 2011-12 were lowered to the range of 0-2 percent. This was the third consecutive time that the sales growth forecast was lowered by SIAM.

High interest rates and rising fuel costs had affected demand the previous year, with car sales turning negative in July 2011 compared to a 30 percent annual growth for the year ended March 31, 2011.

SIAM’s data revealed that domestic car sales last month went up by 7.2 percent at 196,013 units over the previous corresponding month when they sold 182,852 units.

Car exports in the month under review zoomed by 44.85 percent at 47,103 units from 32,518 units being shipped out in January, 2011.

Total passenger vehicles sales, including those of cars, utility vehicles and vans, in the domestic market grew by 8.86 percent at 252,113 units from 231,584 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in the domestic market last month rose by 12.63 percent at 31,238 units from 27,734 units sold in January, 2011. Whereas, domestic sales of light commercial vehicles was reported at 14.25 percent at 38,621 units from 33,803 units sold in corresponding month of last year.

According to Mathur, LCV sales were affected in January due to negative sales of passenger carrier (bus) which was down 6.71 percent at 3,380 units from 3,623 units.

Total domestic sales of commercial vehicles including that of medium and heavy commercial vehicles and LCVs was up 13.52 percent in January at 69,859 units from 61,537 units sold in like period of last year, the data said.

Two-wheeler sales maintained an upward trend during the month under review and rose by 13.6 percent in the domestic market with sales of 11,13,831 units. Motorcycle sales went up by 10.51 percent to 825,887 vehicles. Scooter (scooterettee) sales zoomed by 24.86 percent at 224,839 units.

Three-wheeler sales, however, were down 3.49 percent at 45,632 units.

Total domestic sales across categories grew by 12.17 percent to 1481,435 units in January, the industry body added.

Total exports across categories in the period under review grew by 22.93 percent at 236,190 units from 192, 128 units in the like period of 2011.

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