The automobile industry logged its best-ever annual growth in domestic sales in 2009-10 with an overall growth of 26.4 per cent, largely on the back of an unprecedented 26 per cent spurt in two-wheeler sales.
Two-wheelers constitute over 75 per cent of total domestic sales volume.
India thus emerged the second-fastest growing market after China, even as automobile sales globally declined for the second year in a row in the calender year 2009.
Car sales during the year witnessed a 25 per cent growth at 15.27 lakh units in 2009-10, as against 12.20 lakh units in 2008-09. The last time sales grew at a higher clip was 10 years ago in 1999-2000 at 60 per cent.
The growth this time was as much due to the low base effect of 2008-09 as the flurry of launches. Almost a dozen cars, mostly small cars, were launched during the year — led by Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo and Fiat Grande Punto.
Not surprisingly, small cars led with 29 per cent growth rate.
Light commercial vehicles registered the highest growth at 42.67 per cent. The commercial vehicles segment grew 38.31 per cent at 5.31 lakh units in 2009-10. This is a 7-year high for the segment, second only to the 40 per cent registered in 2002-03. LCVs are tipped to top the segment in 2010-11 as well.
“The government’s stimulus package, which resulted in lower excise, accelerated depreciation and bus orders under JNNURM scheme, helped recovery in the commercial vehicle segment as did strong revival in industrial growth,” said Pawan Goenka, president, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Two-wheelers saw their best-ever growth in a fiscal with sales of 93.71 lakh units. In 2010-11, they are set to touch the 1-crore sales mark in a year. The segment though still has the worst aggregate growth rate for the last three years, at just 2.5 per cent per annum.