A semblance of improvement in consumer sentiment, thanks to the festive season and a low base from last year, saw car sales record their fastest monthly growth in almost two years.
The lack of uniformity in growth across companies and segments, however, indicated that fundamental problems continue to plague the industry.
Car sales last month surged by over 29% to 172,459 units, its best ever growth rate in 22 months led largely by market leader Maruti Suzuki that grew by 94% during the month. Sale of utility vehicles and SUVs continued their bull run with a 88% jump to over 53,000 units. Overall passenger vehicle sales grew by 34% to 246,725 units.
In absolute numbers, car sales reached their highest level in a month this fiscal. The industry, however, was not too enthused by the figures. "There is some cheer, but the struggle is still on," said Vishnu Mathur, director-general of industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. "Next month will be quite critical for us. We'll have to see whether this growth is continuing or it is coming down."
Sale of two-wheelers that comprise the bulk of all automobiles sold rose by 12.3% to 12,85,015 units from 11,44,716.