Domestic car and two-wheeler companies started the New Year with a bang, registering a robust growth in sales in January.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) scripted a turnaround in the New Year with a marginal 0.6% growth in domestic sales in January. This was the first time since May 2011 that the firm has witnessed a sales growth in a month.
“This is the first time in a long time that our domestic sales have crossed 100,000 units in a month,” said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer, MSIL. “The increased supply of diesel engines and a robust growth in rural markets have helped us in achieving the turnaround.”
Arch rivals Hyundai Motor India Ltd and Tata Motors grew at a higher clip at 11.9% and 14.8% respectively during the month, with the latter posting its highest sales in a month ever in the process. Hyundai sold 33,900 cars in January against 30,306 units in the same month last year. Tata Motors sold 34,669 units in January from 30,212 units in the same month last year.
Smaller players such as Toyota fared even better but nobody is betting on a prolonged period of buoyancy just yet.
“The year seems to have started on a positive note, domestic sales are showing some buoyancy,” said Arvind Saxena, director, marketing, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. “But we will have to cautiously watch how this momentum picks up in the months ahead.”
Maruti, too, struck a cautious note on the figures."The fundamental weakness in the market still remains," said Pareek. "The problems of high interest rates and fuel prices persist and there is also a huge disparity in the demand for petrol and diesel vehicles."