The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 2 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cars fare well on export track

New Delhi, Jan. 1: A trio of car makers enjoyed growth in exports in December but had mixed fortunes in the domestic market.

Hyundai Motor India reported a rise of 8.2 per cent growth in exports at 21,136 cars in December, while its local sales fell 9.6 per cent to 26,697 units.

M&M’s exports rose 4.18 per cent to 2,990 units while domestic sales grew 6.06 per cent to 42,307 units.

Ford Motor sold 4,382 units abroad, a surge of 160 per cent. However, the company saw domestic sales rise 9 per cent to 6,517 units on the back of year-end discounts and offers on vehicle financing.

“Despite a tough business environment, we have seen record exports and sustained customer interest help us maintain a strong growth momentum,” said Joginder Singh, who succeeded Michael Boneham as Ford India president and managing director last month.

Domestic car sales have shown a downward trend because of higher borrowing costs, rising fuel prices and the fear of job losses in a slowing economy.

“High interest rates, rising fuel prices and an overall slowdown in economic growth have kept consumer sentiment low during 2012. This is also evident in the auto industry sales performance for December, which traditionally has been a lean month,” said Pravin Shah, chief executive (automotive division) at M&M.

Car firms are trying to jack up sales by introducing models and offering customised loans at cheaper rates, but customers continue to defer their purchases.

“Despite offering various schemes on the purchase of every car, the market continues to remain depressed on account of various negative factors, including high interest rates and poor economic conditions,” said P. Balendran, vice-president of General Motors India.

GM India posted a 22 per cent decline in sales at 7,067 units in December.

“The only hope now is a good budget to address some of the concerns of the industry, combined with the announcement of some positive measures to bolster the economic recovery,” Balendran said.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers has cut its sales forecast to 1-3 per cent for 2012-13 from 9-11 per cent.

In the two-wheeler segment, sales of TVS Motor fell 8.3 per cent in December to 156,221 units.