New Delhi, Aug. 2 -- Homegrown automotive major Tata Motors led from the front as all major domestic car makers reported higher sales in July as compared to last year even as the industry outlook remains uncertain.
The Pune-based firm, the third largest passenger vehicle maker in India, reported a 53% growth at 27,585 units outpacing rivals such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor that witnessed 6.8% and 7.6% growth in sales respectively.
Maruti reported a growth in sales even though its production has been hampered for two weeks after the lockout at its Manesar factory in Haryana, largely due to low base effect of last year when there was a strike at the same factory.
"The overall market demand is suppressed due to general inflationary trend, high fuel prices and interest rates," said Rakesh Srivastava, vice-president, national sales, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. "Unless any major triggers get activated, market sentiment is not expected to improve very much."
Utility vehicles that have grown at a faster clip than cars in this year so far, continued to outperform. India's largest utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) saw a 27% increase in sales, while Toyota that makes the popular Innova grew by over 7%. For Mahindra, it was its second highest monthly sales.
"We are happy to have achieved growth during July 2012 in spite of difficult and uncertain market conditions continuing," said Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. "The automotive industry needs to be concerned about slower economic expansion and consumer sentiments which are not so positive. A cut in interest rates would have helped lower the cost of manufacturing and product, thereby improving industry confidence."
Two wheelers also saw sluggish demand even though new launches helped Honda and Suzuki find more customers. TVS Motor saw an over 15% decline in sales but was offset by the 57% increase in sales for Honda.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.