Automobiles sales surged to over 1.4 million units in October, eclipsing the high achieved the previous month by almost 10% as spending appetite peaked in the festive month.
Passenger vehicles and two-wheelers, the two dominant segments in the sector, both registered monthly peaks as the overall industry registered a 46% jump in sales over October 2009.
Car sales jumped 32% as festive demand, the launch of new models and cheap loans saw consumers flocking to showrooms. Total sales for the month were 182,992 units, from 132,615 a year earlier, with Maruti and Hyundai, the two biggest carmakers selling more cars than they ever sold in a single month.
“October demand was good due to the festive season. The basic fundamentals of the industry remain strong,” said Vishnu Mathur, director general, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. “Last month was the best ever for cars, motorcycles and scooters. Sales normally fall in the second half but demand is still high so we should more than meet the sales target of over 2.4 million passenger vehicles for 2009-10.”
Two-wheeler sales rocketed to 1.13 million units, a 50.4% increase over last October spurred largely by scooters whose sales grew 104%. The largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero Honda, saw 42.5% sales growth to 4.9 lakh units and Bajaj by 33.7% to 2.4 lakh.
Truck and bus sales — seen as a crucial indicator of economic growth — rose 18% to 50,835 units.
India’s auto industry is projected to expand between 19% and 20% for the fiscal year ending March 2011, higher than an earlier forecast of 12% to 13% that was revised just last month.
Passenger car segment is projected to grow in the range of 21-23%, two wheelers at 18%, commercial vehicles at 20% and three wheelers at 16%. So far this year car sales have grown by 34%, two wheelers by 29.4% and the overall industry by 30%.