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After 10 months, car sales grow in double-digits; even trucks get some traction

New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI): Car sales in India increased by 14.76 per cent in June over the figure for the same month of 2013, on the back of the positive sentiment created by the formation of a stable government, and speculative purchases prompted by fears that the current excise reliefs could be withdrawn.

According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales added up to 1,60,232 units in June compared with 1,39,624 units in June 2013.

”Factors like speculative sales and positive sentiments created by formation of stable government and extension of excise duty reduction have helped the passenger car sales post double digit growth in June after ten months,” SIAM President Vikram Kirloskar told reporters here.

He said people went ahead with their buying plans in June as there was no clarity whether the government would extend the excise duty reduction beyond June 30.

”So speculative sales during the last month was one of the factor that affected surge in sales. Whether we will be able to sustain this kind of growth in the coming months is what needs to be seen,” Kirloskar said.

Kirloskar said even commercial vehicles sales have improved during the past three months.

“For the last three months, constant improvement is happening in the commercial vehicle space. Though it still remains in the negative territory, the opening of some of the mining and infrastructural projects has helped the sector,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 9.03 per cent to 51,119 units in June.

When asked whether the industry would continue to dole out discounts to spur sales, Kirloskar said: “I expect that discounts would start tapering as the industry won't be bale to afford it. With rising input costs companies won't be able to afford it for long. Car companies need to make money to reinvest.”

Inevitable the auto industry can see some price hikes over the remaining part of the year, he added.

When asked if the recovery in the auto sector could be impacted by a deficient monsoon, Kirloskar said: “It is still early to say anything as there is still time for monsoon season to end”.

In June, car market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a 32.3 per cent increase in its domestic sales at 86,223 units as against 65,172 units in the same month last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) posted a growth of 8.76 per cent at 33,258 units compared to 30,577 units in June last year.

Honda Cars India saw its sales grow by 76.53 per cent to 16,236 units during the month as against 9,197 units in the year-ago month.

Tata Motors’ car sales slumped by 38.37 per cent to 5,933 units as against 9,628 units in June last year.

Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra posted a rise of 3.6 per cent in its June sales at 16,492 units as against 15,916 units in the corresponding month last year.

According to SIAM, the passenger vehicles category saw sales grow by 11.23 per cent at 2,18,828 units as against 1,96,726 units in June last year, thus posting a double-digit growth after 20 months.

In the two-wheeler segment, SIAM said sales grew by 12.99 per cent in June to 12,61,589 units from 11,16,538 units in the same month of the previous year.

Motorcycle sales were up 9.63 per cent to 8,76,196 units as against 7,99,254 units in the year-ago period.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted a growth of 7.2 per cent at 4,71,548 units in June as against 4,39,845 units in the year-ago period.

Rival Bajaj Auto Ltd posted a decline of 7.51 per cent at 1,47,690 units as against 1,59,688 units in June last year. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales soar by 25.58 per cent at 1,42,793 units as against 1,13,699 units in the same month last year.

According to SIAM, scooter sales jumped by 25.15 per cent to 3,23,178 units in June as against 2,58,223 units in the same month last year.

HMSI, the market leader in the segment, saw its scooter sales grow by 31.01 per cent to 1,66,594 units during the month as against 1,27,154 units in June last year.

Hero MotoCorp also posted a growth, of 12.8 per cent at 59,012 units as against 52,312 units in year-ago month.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its scooter sales increase by 48.82 per cent to 55,020 units as against 36,969 units in the same month last year.

Total sale of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 12.15 per cent to 15,78,884 units in June 2014 as against 14,07,875 units in the same month a year ago.