Auto sales off to a slow start in 2015-16

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 04, 2015 14:00 IST

Domestic passenger vehicle sales got off to a subdued start in the new financial year in April 2015, however, market leader Maruti Suzuki and Japanese car majors Honda and Toyota lead the pack with high doubledigit growth during the month.

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Maruti registered sales of 100,709 units in April 2015, up 27.3% over the same month last year, while Toyota and Honda grew by 63% and 14.5% respectively. The country’s second largest car maker Hyundai Motor India grew by 9.5% at 38,601 units.

Car makers said the growth would have been higher had the rural market not been impacted by unseasonal rains that have damaged crops and hurt farm incomes.

“We have continued the growth momentum with 9.5% increase over last year on a strong and young product portfolio led by 12,425 units of Elite i20 and i20 Active in challenging market conditions, especially in the rural market,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Like the previous financial year, however, the growth was not homogenous. Utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra, the worst impacted by the sluggishness in the rural market, witnessed just 1% increase in sales, while General Motors suffered a near 32% decline.

“The overall customer sentiment has not picked up as expected and the rural markets are also facing challenging times. The fuel price hike last night is also expected to impact demand going forward,” said P Balendran, vicepresident, General Motors India. “We expect interest rates to be cut in phases, and some of the refor m-oriented announcements made by the government to be implemented in a timely manner to aid economic recovery,” he said.

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