Car market leader Maruti Suzuki, rivals Hyundai Motor and Mahindra & Mahindra showed rays of hope, posting growth in their domestic sales in January despite the automobile industry continuing its rough ride.
Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar, General Motors and Ford India began the year 2013 on a negative note as their sales declined in January, giving credence to calls from the players for support from the government in the forthcoming Budget.
In January this year, the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India recorded domestic sales of 1,03,026 units compared to 1,01,047 units in the year-ago period, registering a rise of 1.96 per cent.
The country's second-largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) recorded an increase of 1.19 per cent in sales at 34,302 units compared to 33,900 units in the year-ago period.
"The market was subdued on account of macro-economic factors. For Hyundai the year has started on a positive note with growth in its domestic and export sales... Marketing initiatives in rural markets are bringing volume growth," HMIL Vice President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said.
Auto-maker Mahindra & Mahindra reported total sales of passenger vehicles including Scorpio, XUV500, Xylo, Bolero and Verito, stood at 26,555 units for the domestic market as against 19,975 units in January 2012, translating into 32.94 per cent increase.
"We are happy to have grown in some of our major segments during January 2013... The recently announced reduction of 25 BPS both in the repo and CRR rates is a positive step and is expected to bring in the much desired momentum in the market," M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said.
Honda Cars India reported an over three-fold increase in its domestic sales for January 2013 at 5,451 units. It had sold 1,784 units in the same month last year.
Tata Motors' total passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 15,209 units in January, down 56.13 per cent from 34,669 units in the same month last year.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor also reported 23.37 per cent decrease in its domestic car sales at 13,329 units in January 2013. It had sold 17,395 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on numbers, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director and COO (Marketing and Commercial) Sandeep Singh said: "The market is still witnessing a slowdown, especially the passenger car segment. The prospects for the second half of 2013 look better. The repo rate cut is a welcome step".
With the budget round the corner, we are looking for some more measures that will bring about positive growth, he added.