July auto sales slump as interest rates, fuel prices rise (Roundup)

August 1st, 2011 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Chennai, Aug 1 (IANS) Indian automobile industry Monday reported a slump in July sales, caused mainly by the rising interest rates and fuel prices.

The passenger car major Maruti Suzuki reported a 25.33 percent dip in its July sales at 75,300 vehicles compared to July of 2010, as a result of sluggish demand and two scheduled production cuts.

The domestic sales for July also were down 26.2 percent at 66,504 units, while exports were 18.1 percent lower at 8,796 vehicles.

The company said that manufacturing of its bestselling sedan model Swift Dzire was shifted from Manesar to Gurgaon, temporarily affecting the production of the car.

“While overall automobile market was sluggish, owing to these two planned activities, sales in July 2011 were negatively impacted by nearly 17,000 units compared to July 2010,” the Maruti Suzuki statement said.

Also Maruti discontinued the production of one of its largest selling hatchbacks, Swift, in the month under review as it plans to launch a new version of the car in mid-August.

Sale from its A:mini segment, the company’s largest by volume and comprising of models like Alto, Wagon R, M800 and A-Star, fell 15.6 percent to 38,028 units.

Another automobile giant Tata Motors came out with cumulative sales of 63,761 vehicles in July, down six percent from the like period of last year.

“The company’s domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for July 2011 were 57,990, lower by 9 percent over 63,559 units sold in July last year,” the company said in a statement.

Cumulative sales for the fiscal grew by four percent at 256,799 units, over 247,381 units sold in the like period of last year.

Segment-wise, the company reported a 14 percent growth in sales of its commercial vehicles at 40,798 units as against 35,694 units sold in July last year.

It was the passenger-vehicles segment sales which slumped badly, including distribution offtake of Fiat cars. The sales were lower by 39 percent at 18,294 units (17,192 Tata, 1,102 Fiat) as compared to 30,166 vehicles (27,865 Tata, 2,301 Fiat) in July last year.

“Sales of Tata passenger vehicles for July 2011 are at 17,192, lower by 38 percent over July last year,” the statement said, adding that sales of the company’s entry-level car Nano went down 64 percent at 3,260 units in July 2011.

Export-wise, the company’s sales grew by 36 percent at 5,771 vehicles in July, compared to 4,241 vehicles in the corresponding month of 2010.

The three Chennai based automobile manufacturers also came out with mixed results.

Automobile major Hyundai Motor reported a decline of 1.5 percent in sales for July at 49,667 units as against 50,411 units in the corresponding period last year.

“The customer enquiries have increased but due to the increase in fuel price and interest rates, conversion rate has slowed down,” said Arvind Saxena, director, marketing and sales, Hyundai Motor.

While domestic market sales went down 11 percent at 25,642 units as compared to 28,811 units for the same month last year, exports in the month under review grew by 11.2 percent at 24,025 units as against 21,600 units of the corresponding month of 2010.

Segment-wise sales in July were led by the hatchback A2 segment, including Santro, i10 and i20, whose sales stood at 41,533 units.

Sales of A3 sedan segment Accent and Verna stood at 7,980 units; A5 luxury sedan segment Sonata Transform at 13 units; and sports utility vehicle (SUV) Santa Fe at 141 units.

Ford in turn came out with a growth of 10.75 percent its sales for July including exports at 10,706 units, compared to 9,666 units in July 2010.

“Ford India’s sales performance this year reinforces its decision to invest approximately $1 billion to build a new integrated manufacturing facility in Gujarat,” the company said in a statement.

The two- and three-wheeler makers TVS Motor Company Ltd closed July with a 14 percent increase in sales over the corresponding period of 2010.

The company’s total sales last month stood at 189,962 units (186,672 two wheelers, 3,290 three wheelers), up from 166,214 units (163,106 two wheelers, 3,108 three wheelers) logged in July 2010.

TVS Motor sold 186,672 two wheelers (domestic 160,348 units, exports 26,324 units) in July 2011 in comparison with 163,106 units (domestic 143,039 units, exports 20,067 units) recorded in July 2010.

The company’s cumulative sales for the months of April to July 2011 grew by 15 percent with sales of 726,092 units against 630,054 units recorded in the previous comparable period.

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