Upbeat consumer sentiment helps October automobile sales (Roundup)

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 01, 2012 13:20 hrs

New Delhi/Chennai, Nov 1 (IANS) The Indian automobile industry, in a slump due to high fuel and interest costs, got a festive season reprieve in October as sales grew due to upbeat consumer sentiment.

Passenger car major Maruti Suzuki past month logged a healthy sales growth of 85.5 percent at 103,108 units as against 55,595 units sold in the corresponding period of last year.

According to the company, its domestic sales increased by 86.6 percent in October and stood at 96,002 units from 51,458 units sold in the like period of last year.

Its exports in the month under review grew by 71.8 percent and stood at 7,106 units from 4,137 units sold in October 2011.

Chennai-based automobile major, Hyundai Motor (HMIL), too logged healthy sales growth for the month under review. Sales increased by 21 percent and stood at 58,785 units from 48,322 units sold in the same period of 2011.

While domestic sales grew by eight percent at 35,778 units, exports skyrocketed by 50 percent in the month under review, helped by good volume sales in South Africa and Mexico.

Total exports stood at 23,007 units from 15,321 units shipped out in October 2011.

"The festivals brought in positive growth in domestic sales with resurgence in petrol variants. All models showed a growth, especially with strong demand of Eon and Elantra," said Rakesh Srivastava, vice president sales, HMIL.

Srivastava, however, cautioned that: "In the coming months the challenge would be to convert customer interest into sales as the general inflationary trend, high fuel prices and interest rates are still keeping the customer sentiment low."

Leading sports utility vehicle manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), reported a 29 percent increase in sales, which stood at 53,438 units.

Domestic sales increased by 30 percent and stood at 51,316 units. Exports, however, declined marginally by one percent at 2,122 units.

The company hoped Tuesday's cash reserve ratio (CRR) rate cut by 25 basis points would help sales.

"The current financing rates will still remain high for auto industry customers, which is a cause of concern. The reduction of 25 basis points in CRR in the recently announced credit policy is a positive step," said Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, M&M.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors' sales, including exports for October, increased by six percent at 71,771 units. The domestic sales were up seven percent at 68,145 units.

The two-wheeler segment major, Hero MotoCorp, reported a marginal sales growth of 3.31 percent for October, which stood at 529,215 units from 512,238 units sold in the corresponding month last year.

Two- and three-wheeler maker TVS Motor closed last month with a four percent sales growth as compared to sales logged during October 2011.

The company said it sold 190,438 units -- 186,376 units of two-wheelers and 4,062 units of three-wheelers -- last month, up from 183,718 units -- 180,006 units of two-wheelers and 3,712 units of three-wheelers -- sold in October 2011.

The company's exports came down to 18,563 units last month as against 22,129 units shipped out during the same month of the previous year.

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