Car makers had a difficult month in February with leading companies, including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Tata Motors, reporting decline in their domestic monthly sales as market continues to reel under tough macro economic conditions.
The two-wheeler segment also saw sluggish sales with the market Hero MotoCorp and TVS Motor witnessing their sales going down in last month.
The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India recorded domestic sales of 97,955 units in February, 2013 compared to 1,07,653 units in the year-ago period, registering a fall of 9.01%.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded a decline of 7.62% in domestic sales at 34,002 units compared to 36,805 units in the year-ago period.
"The market was suppressed as there was drop in enquiries with lower rates of conversions to purchase. The increase in fuel prices negatively impacted the already low market sentiments," HMIL vice-president (sales and marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.
The company expects the challenge to continue in the next quarter until there is a significant change in macro-economic conditions, he added.
Homegrown Tata Motors' total passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 10,613 units in February, down 69.53% from 34,832 units in the same month last year.
However, rival Mahindra & Mahindra's total sales of passenger vehicles, including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, stood at 23,421 units as against 20,573 units in February 2012, translating into 13.84% increase.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported 23.43% decrease in its domestic car sales at 12,756 units in February 2013. It had sold 16,659 units in the corresponding month of last year.
Commenting on numbers, Toyota Kirloskar Motor deputy managing director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said: "The market continues to remain sluggish and the with the additional excise duty levied on SUV and UV, the market will be further impacted."
General Motors India witnessed 20.17% decline in its sales at 7,106 units compared to 8,901 units in the same month of 2012.
"Although we have generated the volumes for Chevrolet Sails as expected, the overall numbers inclusive of other models were not on the expected lines as the market continues to remain subdued," GM India Vice President P Balendran said.
With excise duty also going up for certain categories of vehicles, the market is not expected to improve in the coming months also as the macro economic uncertainties still continue, he added.
Car maker Ford India's domestic sales went down by 44.12% to 4,490 units in February this year from 8,035 units in the same month last year.
Ford India executive director (marketing, sales and service) Vinay Piparsania said: "In the domestic market, we continue to witness some tough and challenging conditions... Policy uncertainty and resulting lowered consumer confidence is impacting our business."
Honda Cars India Ltd reported 26.49% decline in its domestic sales at 6,510 units. It had sold 8,856 units in the same month last year.
However, Renault India reported nearly 10-fold jump in sales in February this year at 6,723 units on the back of strong sales of its SUV Duster. It had sold a total of 673 vehicles during the year-ago period.
In two-wheeler category, the country's largest manufacturer Hero MotoCorp reported a decrease of 4.24% in its sales at 5,01,271 units in February 2013. It had sold 5,23,465 units in February 2012.
Hero MotoCorp senior vice-president (marketing and sales) Anil Dua said: "Overall sentiment in the industry still remains weak. The industry did stage some recovery during the festival period but does not seem to have sustained the momentum.
"High interest rates, persistent inflation and delayed monsoons have all played their part in building to a rather poor consumer sentiment this fiscal."
Chennai-based TVS Motor Company's domestic two-wheeler sales registered a decline of 6.54% to 1,42,800 units as against 1,52,796 units in February 2012.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported 10.87% growth in its total sales for February 2013 at 2,28,444 units. Its total sales had stood at 2,06,043 units in the corresponding month of the last year.
Two-wheeler maker India Yamaha Motor registered a rise of 18.66% in its domestic sales at 32,097 units compared to 27,050 units in the year-ago period.