Boosted by festive season purchases, domestic car sales increased by 23.09 per cent to 1,72,459 units in October 2012, the highest growth rate in nearly two years.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), however, downplayed the feat saying that the growth was on a low base of 1,40,105 units in the same month last year and the automotive industry continues to face challenges in pushing sales.
"The car sales growth rate that we have achieved this October is the highest since January 2011, which was at 25.27 per cent. In terms of volumes, this is the highest since March this year when it was at 2,29,866 units," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
However, he said it was to early to rejoice for the industry as high interest rates and fuel prices, uncertain economic environment and low consumer sentiments still prevails and it has started affecting even the rural markets.
"Compared to the last four months, we have a good growth. This is of course due to festival season but this is on a very low base of October last year," Mathur added. On a comparative basis of the festive season sales between last year, which was mainly in September, and this year, he said the sales growth has been marginal.
"If we compare September last year and October this year, the growth in just 3.6 per cent. So once the festive season is over we will face the challenge again and next month will be critical," Mathur said, adding sales in September last year was at 1,66,464 units.
As per the latest figure released by SIAM, in the passenger cars segment, market leader Maruti Suzuki India sold 79,811 units in October, up 93.75 per cent from 41,192 units in the same month last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd clocked 35,722 units as against 32,811 units in October 2011, up 8.87 per cent, while Tata Motors sales stood at 16,444 units compared to 20,948 units in the year-ago month, down 21.5 per cent.
Utility vehicles (UV) segment saw a surge in domestic sales at 53,285 units, up 87.74 per cent from last year. The growth was led-by Mahindra & Mahindra with its UV sales in October this year registering 49.9 per cent growth at 25,379 units as compared to 16,938 units in the same month last year.
As per the SIAM data,