The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Discounts, price cuts fuel car sales

New Delhi, April 16: Domestic sales of cars and utility vehicles rose 4.8 per cent to 7,08,078 units in the financial year ended March 2003 after a flat growth in 2001-02, helped by price cuts and discounts.

Figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) showed car sales in 2002-03 rose 6.4 per cent to 5,41,738 units from 5,09,088 in the previous year. During March, domestic passenger car sales leapt 15.2 per cent to 67,817 units from 58,864 in the corresponding period previous fiscal due to the 8 per cent excise rate cut announced in the 2003-04 annual budget held in February.

Industry analysts said car demand for the current fiscal would grow by 10 per cent in the country, the world’s 12th largest economy, due to lower taxes, rising incomes and low penetration.

Tata Engineering, which manufactures Indica and Indigo models, has recorded an impressive growth rate of 24 per cent to 79,525 units in the full year to March 31, 2003.

Sales of Hyundai Motors India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of South Korean Hyundai Motor Corp, grew by 18 per cent to 79,525 units. Hyundai Motors India locally produces the Santro and Accent models but imports the larger Sonata as a completely-built-unit.

But full-year car sales were flat for Maruti Udyog Ltd, the country’s largest automaker, at 2,75,031 units against 2,73,884 units in 2001-02. While General Motors and Hindustan Motors have recorded a negative growth in sales. Motorcycle sales in India, the world’s second-biggest market, fell 3.32 per cent in March to 2,80,927 from 2,90,578 in the year-ago period. Full-year sales leapt 28.4 per cent to 37,05,893 units from 28,87,194.

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