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Domestic car sales up 5% in July, SIAM sees full year revival at last

New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI): Domestic car sales grew for the third month in succession in July, prompting the industry body SIAM to hope for a 5-10 per cent growth in the current financial year.

In 2013-14, car sales had fallen by 4.65 per cent as the auto industry continued to struggle with demand slump caused by a sluggish economy.

According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, domestic passenger car sales added up to 1,37,873 units in July this year as compared to 1,31,257 units in the same month of 2013, an increase of 5.04 per cent.

”The negative sentiments have gone. People are coming back to showrooms. As the economy revives we are going to see higher growth in the coming months,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

He added, “With a lot of new models lined up for launches ahead of the festive season, we are hoping that there will be at least single digit growth this year.”

While he declined to give an exact forecast for car sales growth, Mathur said, “In the first quarter of this fiscal we have grown by 2.89 per cent. If the trend continues we hope that we could end the year with a growth of anything between 5 and 10 per cent.”

Giving credit to the new government, he said, “The very fact that there is a stable government at Centre has improved consumer sentiment. Besides, the reduced excise duty rates on cars have been extended and also income tax rate has also been reduced to an extent that has put more money in the pockets of consumers. All these have helped revive demand to an extent.”

During the month, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 15.45 per cent in domestic sales at 72,782 units as against 63,040 units in the same month last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd had a growth of 12 per cent at 29,067 units as against 25,939 units in July last year.

Honda Cars India saw its sales jump 10.77 per cent to 12,286 units in July from 11,091 units in the year-ago month.

Home-grown Tata Motors posted a decline of 21.56 per cent in domestic car sales in July to 6,703 units as compared to 8,546 units in the same month last year.

Utility vehicles (UV) major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its UV sales decline 1.06 per cent to 14,348 units as against 14,503 units last year.

In the two-wheeler segment, total sales in July 2014 grew 13.73 per cent to 12,87,462 units from 11,32,066 units in the same period of previous year.