A slowdown in the economy hurt the automobile market badly but breaking a nine-month decline, domestic passenger car sales grew by 15.37% to 133,486 units in August compared with 115,705 units in the year-ago period.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), however, played down the feat saying the growth was mainly due to low base effect as a result of the month-long lockout last year at the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Manesar plant.
"This (growth) is not a reflection of the market conditions. This is mainly due to Maruti's numbers compared with last year. The tough market conditions still remain. Interest rates and fuel prices continue to be high while sentiments are extremely low," Siam deputy director general Sugato Sen told reporters.
He said the positive growth seen in August is unlikely to be sustained in September and a recovery is likely only in the next couple of quarters.
In August, market leader MSI doubled its domestic car sales at 63,499 units against 31,653 in the same month last year. Hyundai Motor India registered a marginal increase during the month at 28,281 units against 28,192 units last year.
Tata Motors saw its sales plunge by 50.57% to 8,761 units against 17,727 units in August last year. Mahindra & Mahindra saw its domestic passenger vehicles sales decline by 25.45% to 18,137 units during the month.