Car makers report upbeat sales in March

S V Krishnamachari
car sales, auto sales, car sales march 2017, auto sales march 2017, domestic car sales

Car sales data for March 2017 reported by four companies show that growth was robust not only in the domestic market, but also in exports. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL), Ford India, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), Nissan and Tata Motors have come out with their March sales data.

March also marked the end of the sale of BS-III vehicles, in accordance with a Supreme Court order.

MSIL sold 139,763 units in March 2017, up 8.1 percent from 129,345 cars sold in March 2016. Domestic sales at 127,999 units marked a lower growth rate of 7.7 percent while exports rose 12.6 percent to 11,764 units, according to a regulatory filing by the company to the BSE.

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In financial year 2016-17, MSIL sold 15,68,603 cars, 9.8 percent more than 14,29,248 units in total sales (domestic + exports). Domestic business grew 10.7 percent to 14,44,541 units though exports remained almost flat 124,062 cars.   

The company said the overall sales marked the highest ever till date.

Ford India's cumulative sales rose 17.14 percent to 24,832 units in March 2017 from 21,198 cars in March 2016. Exports increased to 16,132 cars (13,638 in March 2016) and domestic sales stood at 8,700 units (7,560 units in March 2016). 

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The Indian arm of the US car-maker sold 63,117 cars in the March quarter, up from 51,338 units sold in the year-ago period.

TKM also had a good month, selling 14,432 cars overall, up 60 percent from 9,007 units sold in March 2016. Domestic car sales rose 81 percent to 13,796 units from 7,637 units.

"Both the new Fortuner & Innova Crysta have attributed to this growth. In just five months, the new Fortuner has been able to clock more than 10,300 units," N. Raja, Director & Sr. Vice President, Sales & Marketing, TKM, said in a statement. 

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Nissan Motor India reported 21 percent growth in March 2017 sales to 5,309 cars. For the financial year 2016-17, it sold 57,315 cars, up 45 percent from 39,393 units sold in the previous fiscal, according to the PTI.

"Datsun redi-Go has been our most significant new model launch in the last year and has been a key driver of our success and raising brand awareness," Nissan India Operations President Guillaume Sicard, told the agency.

Tata Motors said in a regulatory filing that it sold 15,433 units in March 2017 in the domestic market, up 84 percent from March 2016; the cumulative sales for FY2017 rose 22 percent to 153,151 units from 125,946 units in FY2016. 

"The company has also received an encouraging response for its recently launched lifestyle UV, Tata Hexa and its latest Styleback, the Tata Tigor," it said in the filing.

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