The new financial year started on a mixed note for car makers with leading firms, including Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda Cars and General Motors, reporting growth in domestic sales in April. However, other manufacturers such as Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar and Ford India, witnessed decline in sales during the month.
On the two-wheeler front, market leader Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor Company saw decline in sales, while rivals Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Yamaha Motor registered robust growth last month.
Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India reported its domestic sales at 90,523 units in April 2013, a marginal rise over 90,255 units in April 2012.
The country's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded a decline of 7.60 per cent in its domestic sales at 32,403 units compared to 35,070 units in the year-ago period.
"...the domestic market continues to witness pressure ...there are signs of recovery with the increase in demand for petrol cars," HMIL Senior Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.
Homegrown auto major Tata Motors saw its passenger vehicles sales fall drastically by 48.94 per cent to 11,570 units during April this year as against 22,658 units in the same month last year.
However, rival homegrown auto-maker Mahindra & Mahindra's domestic sales of passenger vehicles, including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, stood at 20,748 units as against 20,554 units in April 2012, translating into a marginal increase.
"We remain cautiously optimistic of the current situation and do hope that with the much awaited and needed reduction in interest rates announcement by the RBI next week, the auto industry will look up," Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said. He said the price increases due to hike in excise duty to 30 per cent from 27 per cent on SUVs have started having negative impact on sales.
The company is "extremely disappointed that the additional 3 per cent excise duty on SUVs has not been reversed in the Finance Bill which would have brought about some cheer and momentum for SUV makers and provided them with a level playing field," Shah added. Honda