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India car sales end flat in February

The car industry posted a near flat growth in February this year with buyers putting buying decisions on expectation of an excise duty cut during the Budget, reports Deepak Joshi.

autos Updated: Mar 02, 2008 21:12 IST
Deepak Joshi

The car industry posted a near flat growth in February this year with buyers putting buying decisions on expectation of an excise duty cut during the Budget.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd reported a marginal increase in domestic sales in February at 59,311 units as against 59,095 units in the corresponding month last year.

The company said this 0.4 per cent increase is due to customers postponing their purchase decision in anticipation of the excise duty cut in the budget.

In the A2 segment, which comprises of hatchbacks Alto, Zen, Wagon-R and Swift, the company sold 44,059 units in February, up 2.7 per cent from a year ago. All four models in the segment are eligible for excise duty benefits.

The company sold 1,958 cars in the A3 segment comprising sedans SX4 and Esteem, up 8.9 per cent over 1,798 units in February last year, it said in a statement.

In the A1 segment, comprising entry-level hatch M800, sales slipped 3.5 per cent to 5,745 units as compared with 5,955 units in the same month last year, while sales in the C segment that consists of Omni and Versa dipped 9.9 per cent to 7,268 units.

MSIL sold 281 units of its MUVs Gypsy and Grand Vitara during February, down 21.9 per cent over the same month last year.

The company's exports during the month jumped 15.5 per cent to 4,511 units as against 3,904 units in the same month last year.

General Motors India reported 80 per cent increase in its vehicle sales during February at 5,563 units as against 3,087 units the same month last year. The sales in February comprised 1,681 units of MUV Chevrolet Tavera, 1,102 units of mid-sized sedan Chevrolet Aveo and hatchback Aveo UV-A, 360 units of premium sedan Chevrolet Optra, 2,229 units of small car Chevrolet Spark and 191 units of newly-launched SUV Chevrolet Captiva, GM India said in a statement.

"We are very pleased to see such a robust growth for all our carlines under the Chevrolet brand. With the consistent surge in monthly sales, our key focus remains to address the changing customer needs while providing them world class products and best in class service," GM India Vice President P Balendran said.

ŠkodaIndia also announced that the company has achieved sales of 1303 units in February 2008. With this figure ŠkodaIndia registered 102% growth in sales as compared to 644 units sold in February 2007. The sales figure includes 524 units of the superhatch ŠkodaFabia.

Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) recorded 21.1% increase in sales for the period January - February 2008 over last year. The company sold 11,541 units in the period Jan - Feb 2008 as against 9,534 units in the corresponding period last year.