Vehicle sales limp on

New Delhi , Mumbai, Jan 2 | Updated: Jan 3 2006, 06:59am hrs
After posting record sales in October, the depression in two-wheeler and passenger car sales that started in November continued aided by a cold wave in North India and rainstorms in the South.

In the passenger vehicle space, market leader Maruti Udyog Ltd rode on Swift and Alto sales to post a 16% rise in domestic sales to 43,251, the highest in December for the company.

Compact car (A2 segment) sales increased 36.6% to 28,367 units in the last month of 2005 as compared to 20,759 units in the previous period while sales of the mid-sized models Baleno and Esteem sedans fell 18%. Exports declined 57% and overall sales for the company rose 5.1% to 46,079 units.

General Motors sold 2,162 vehicles in December 2005, including 1,603 units of utility vehicle, Chevrolet Tavera, 462 units of mid size Optra and 97 units of Corsa. Skoda Auto Indias December 2005 sales was up by 25%, at 8,953 units.

Tractor and utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) posted a 33% growth in tractor sales for the month of December 2005. During the last month of the year, the company sold 5,579 tractors, posting a 33% growth over 4,382 tractors sold in the same period the previous year. M&Ms sales in all other categories, utility vehicles, three wheelers and light commercial vehicles, put together, fell by 3% in December 2005 to 10,953 units as against 11,304 the previous year.

The countrys two largest two-wheeler manufacturers continued to witness a lukewarm growth in sales in December while TVS Motors reported a 11% rise in volumes for the month.

Market leader Hero Honda Motors Ltd (HHML) reported a 6% rise in domestic December sales at 2.38 lakh motorcycles compared with 2.25 lakh units sold and exported in December 2004. This is the slowest monthly growth since sales fell 1.2% in April 2003, the last time Hero Honda sales declined and lower than the 6.5% rise reported last month (November 2005).

The second largest motorcycle maker, Bajaj Auto, sold 1.48 lakh motorcycles in December 2005, as against 1.43 lakh units in December 2004, clocking a marginal 3% growth. Total two wheeler sales, including scooters, during the month of Bajaj Auto was almost flat at 1.54 lakh, with a 1% growth.

The third in the pecking order, TVS Motor Company, reported a 11% growth in December sales to 1.07 lakh units the TVS Star continued to receive good response across all markets.

This is better than the 5% growth in November 2005 with the motorcycle segment alone rising 8.3% to 68,724 units. In the three wheeler segment, Bajaj Auto however posted a 26% growth in the three wheeler segment, selling 18,534 units against 14,705 units n the corresponding period, the previous year.