Led by the country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the domestic automobile industry registered another month of stratospheric growth in August, defying the traditional wisdom that sales dip during the monsoons. With the festive season set to commence later this month, the story is only expected to get bigger and better.
Maruti saw its sales grow by over 32 per cent to 92,674 units — its highest ever monthly sales — as a gamut of new cars, including a peppier version of its best-selling Alto and CNG variants of five of its cars hit the road last month, bringing in incremental numbers. Other Japanese carmakers, Toyota and Honda, also did well with both witnessing high double digit growth during the month.
The general sense of optimism rubbed off on others as well. Second-placed Hyundai posted a 17 per cent increase in sales and the company said the momentum is such that it will need to curtail exports to cater to higher than expected demand in the domestic market. The firm's exports saw a 12 per cent dip during the month.
"The domestic demand continues to be strong and we have constraints in production due to some components' supply," said Arvind Saxena, director - marketing and sales, HMIL. "We are changing our production mix to meet this increased demand."
The third big carmaker did not fare too badly either. In fact, homegrown Tata Motors saw the highest growth — a 45 per cent increase over last year. The company's sales went up in every segment from the ultra low cost car Nano to its SUV Tata Safari.
The two wheeler segment was relatively subdued with market leader Hero Honda posting a 2 per cent growth last month. Even then, it was the company's fourth consecutive month of over 4 lakh unit sales and it is well on its way to achieving over 5 million unit sales for this fiscal (2010-11). "The record sales for the fourth consecutive month, has set the tone for the festival season," said Anil Dua, Sr. Vice-President (Marketing & Sales), Hero Honda.
Third-placed TVS Motor also witnessed its highest ever monthly sales in August.