A rural recovery and demand for new models aided a strong 23% growth in automobile sales in February this year over the same month last year, shows data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
A rural recovery and demand for new models aided a strong 23% growth in automobile sales in February this year over the same month last year, shows data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). Growth was strongest in the commercial vehicle and two-wheeler segments, which grew 31% and 24%, respectively. Passenger vehicle sales grew 8% in the month year-on-year (y-o-y) to 2,75,329 units. Sales growth in the segment was driven by a strong 22% volume growth in utility vehicles, even as passenger cars clocked a moderate 4% growth. Car sales grew after two consequent months of decline during December and January. India’s largest passenger vehicle maker, Maruti Suzuki, said its sales grew by 14% in the month owing to strong demand for its compact cars and SUVs. Sales of its Swift, Dzire and Baleno models grew 39% in the month, while volumes of its utility vehicles, including the Ertiga and the Vitara Brezza, grew 14%. Tata Motors saw its sales grow 45% in the month, supported by strong demand for its recently launched compact SUV, the Nexon. Commercial vehicle sales saw strong traction in February on overloading restrictions in some states and rising infrastructure activity. Discounting, which has become a norm in the commercial vehicle segment, aided the uptick. According to a Delhi-based transport think tank, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training, discounts offered on trucks were as high as 20%. Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles in the month grew 23% to 37,552 units, while light commercial vehicle sales grew a faster 38% to 50,225 units. Two-wheeler sales continued to see strong growth at 24%, because of a lower base due to demonetisation last year, when sales had declined by 1% in the same month. Motorcycle sales rose 26% to 10,53,230 units, while scooter sales grew 24% to 5,60,653 units in the month. Bajaj Auto posted 25% growth in sales of its motorcycles, thanks to new launches in the Discover and Avenger ranges. Sales of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India grew 22% in the month, owing to strong demand for its automatic scooters.