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Auto sales see mixed May

autos Updated: Jun 01, 2009 21:39 IST
Hindustan Times
Maruti Suzuki India

Car and two-wheeler sales in the country continued their mixed growth trend during May with market leaders Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hero Honda Motor Ltd emerging as the stand out performers in the month.

Maruti beat all expectations including its own for the second straight month, by posting a double-digit growth. The company's domestic sales grew 10.4 per cent at 70,785 units even as its closest competitors Hyundai and Tata registered declines. Hyundai which was subject to a mini-strike in the later half of the month saw domestic sales decline by 4 per cent at 23,503 units while Tata Motor's sales slid by 20 per cent at just 15,388 units.

Utility vehicle major Mahindra and Mahindra which had also witnessed protracted labour unrest at its Nashik plant, also saw its sales decline by over 3 per cent. The company though said that the strike had no impact on demand for its vehicles.

"We do not expect the strike to have any impact on our annual plan," said Rajesh Jejurikar, Chief of Operations, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. "Moreover a lot of the loss of production due to the strike will be made good by the cancellation of the scheduled block maintenance closure between June 1-6, 2009.”

In the two wheeler segment, Hero Honda continued to lead industry growth with a 22.5 per cent rise in sales at 382,678 units. TVS Motor, Yamaha and Suzuki also posted growth during the month strengthening the rebound for the sector.

“Our policy to consistently refresh our products, aggressively expand network and explore new markets has been the hallmark of our consistent growth month after month," said Anil Dua, sr. Vice-President (Marketing, Sales & Customer Care), Hero Honda Motors Ltd. "Going forward, we will keep up our relentless effort to reach out to customers spread across the semi-urban and upcountry markets.”