Shifting trend in auto choice

New Delhi: Domestic passenger vehicle sales rose 7.57 per cent to 2,85,477 units in January, buoyed by robust growth in utility vehicles. Car sales, however, declined 1.25 per cent because of the change in consumer preference.

According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) on Monday, domestic passenger vehicle sales stood at 2,65,389 units in the same month last year.

Car sales fell to 1,84,264 units in January against 1,86,596 units a year ago.

"The overall growth in vehicle sales in January is according to expectations and is also a reflection of the mood ahead of the auto expo," Siam director-general Vishnu Mathur said.

Utility vehicles remained the growth drivers, drawing a lot of customers, he added.

Cars are witnessing flat sales with no new models in the entry-level segment, while customer preference is shifting towards crossovers and compact SUVs, he added.

Sales of utility vehicles during the month stood at 85,850 units against 62,263 units in the same month last year, a growth of 37.88 per cent.

"The utility vehicle sales in January this year is the second-highest in terms of volumes after the highest clocked in July last year at 86,874 units," Mathur said.

In January, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 4.05 per cent in its domestic passenger vehicle sales at 139,189 units.

Rival Hyundai Motor India saw a growth of 8.31 per cent at 45,508 units.

Homegrown Mahindra & Mahindra registered a growth of 17.73 per cent at 23,656 units, while Tata Motors saw its sales jumping 48.58 per cent to 21,872 units.

According to Siam, total two-wheeler sales in January were higher by 33.43 per cent at 16,84,066 units compared with 12,62,140 units in the year-ago month.

Mathur said this reflected the overall strong demand for motorcycles and scooters in rural as well as urban markets.

Motorcycle sales last month jumped 28.64 per cent to 10,54,062 units against January 2017.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted a growth of 24.39 per cent in its domestic motorcycle sales at 5,43,325 units against 4,36,771 units in the year-ago month.

In scooters, market leader HMSI saw its domestic sales jump 39.55 per cent to 3,19,318 units from 2,28,811 units in the year-ago month.

Siam said sales of commercial vehicles grew 39.73 per cent to 85,660 units in January against 61,305 units a year ago.


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