Car makers Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India, Tata Motors and every other auto company in India is praying for a good monsoon this year to spur demand for cars and two-wheelers and pull the industry back on the growth path.
"Good monsoons have always bring positive sentiments into the market," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, Hyundai Motor India, which is planning to target small-town and rural India with its small cars Eon, Santro, I10 and I20.
Maruti is hoping to sell larger numbers of its Alto, WagonR and Swift small cars in this market, sources said.
"Monsoons are followed by festivals that are high points for auto sales. The predictions for monsoon are positive this year and we expect auto industry will move into a positive trajectory soon," Srivastava added.
In 2012-13, domestic car sales fell 6.7% from 2.03 million units to 1.89 million units, the first time it had declined in a decade. The start to the new fiscal has been even more tepid with sales declining by over 10% in April.
Traditionally a good monsoon augers well for the auto industry across both rural and rural markets. The meteorological department has predicted a normal monsoon this year.
"We have seen in the last few years that the share of big cities in overall sales has gone down," said Sumit Sawhney, executive director, Renault India.
Good rains will have a significant impact on sales of two wheelers as well, which are more dependent on rural markets. The segment grew at less than 3% in 2012-13 with all major players including Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj and TVS registering a decline in sales.
Only Honda, the second-largest player in the segment, ducked the trend to post a double digit growth during the year.
"Going forward for the overall industry growth, a lot will also depend on the monsoon and overall economic activity," said Anil Dua, senior vice-president (marketing and sales), Hero MotoCorp.