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Car firms enjoy May sales ride

New Delhi, June 10: Passenger car sales registered a growth rate of 14.26 per cent in May, while two-wheeler sales were up seven per cent.

This comes at a time when the automobile industry is facing cost pressures. It reported an 8.09 per cent rise in vehicle sales last month at 8,52,872 units.

According to analysts, the industry will continue to grow this year despite high interest rates. “We will see growth throughout the year and expect to touch the figures of 2006,” said Dilip Chenoy, director-general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

In cars, the industry has been witnessing steady growth in the last two years.

According to figures released by SIAM, passenger cars clocked sales of 1,10,743 units in May against 96,923 units a year ago.

Maruti Suzuki India’s sales grew 16.13 per cent to 57,315 units from 49,354 units a year ago. Korean rival Hyundai Motors India sold 24,506 units during the month against 16,617 units last year, an increase of 47.48 per cent.

Tata Motors, however, recorded flat growth at 14,228 units against 14,217 units a year ago. General Motors’ sales showed a jump of 6.12 per cent at 3,847 units compared with 3,625 units last year.

Two-wheeler sales in the month rose seven per cent to 6,47,358 units compared with 6,05,014 units in the same month last year, SIAM said.

In motorcycles, sales jumped 7.39 per cent to 5,13,209 units against 4,77,901 units in the previous year.

“The real heat is on the two-wheelers as the banks have stopped lending to this segment. Cars are a little better as banks target a select category of consumers,” said Chenoy.

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