Car sales dip again as fuel cost bites | autos | Hindustan Times
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Car sales dip again as fuel cost bites

A combination of high interest rates, rising cost of fuel and a traditionally bad time for consumer activity led to a second straight month of declining sales for the domestic car industry as the big three-Maruti, Hyundai and Tata, saw fewer customers flocking to their showrooms.

autos Updated: Sep 01, 2011 21:11 IST
HT Correspondent

A combination of high interest rates, rising cost of fuel and a traditionally bad time for consumer activity led to a second straight month of declining sales for the domestic car industry as the big three-Maruti, Hyundai and Tata, saw fewer customers flocking to their showrooms.

As was the case in July. Tata motors, the third largest carmaker in India, bore the brunt of low consumer interest in cars as its sales slipped by 33% during the month to 16,829 units. Maruti also saw its sales dip by 17% as the demand for the new Swift was more than outdone by the labour unrest at its Manesar factory, while Hyundai registered a 6.7% fall in its sales to 26,677 units.

With the festive season still a month away and September traditionally an even worse month for car buying in India, the industry view remains downcast.

"The market continues to be tough and there are no signs of recovery in the immediate future," said Arvind Saxena, director- marketing and sales, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Companies that bucked the trend and did well during the month include Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda and General Motors, who either have a low base or launched new cars that brought in new customers to their showrooms.

Toyota, which launched its maiden small car Etios Liva and is set to follow it up with the launch of its diesel variants later this month, registered a 84% jump in sales to over 11,000 units while Honda saw a revival in sales of the City after a Rs66,000 rebate on its price.

"Despite not having a diesel engine, we sold over 5000 units of the City last month, which is commendable," said Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Honda Siel Cars India.