Leading car makers Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India recovered some ground in February as buyers made their way to showrooms, encouraged by the recent price cuts following the lowering of excise duty in the interim budget.
While it has only been 10 days since companies began passing on the excise duty cut benefit, car makers claim they have seen a surge in enquiries, the impact of which they hope will reflect in the March numbers.
Maruti Suzuki’s domestic sales surged 1.8% during the month to 99,758 vehicles as compared with the same period last year. Sales of the company’s mini segment cars, including M800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR, slipped 9.6% to 37,342 vehicles during the period under review. In the compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo and Ritz, Maruti sales increased by 19.4% to 28,672 vehicles in February, against 24,021 vehicles in the same month last year.
Hyundai reported flat domestic sales at 34,005 vehicles during the month against 34,002 vehicles in February 2013. “Post the reduction in excise duty, enquiry inflow has increased and it is expected that this would lead towards creation of a positive momentum,” said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice-president (sales and marketing), HMIL.
Mahindra & Mahindra’s domestic sales stood at 39,338 vehicles, a decline of 11% year-on-year. For its passenger vehicles, which include utility vehicles and Verito, the company saw a fall of 18% to 19,308 vehicles on a year-on-year basis.
“The auto industry has received a much-needed boost in terms of an excise duty reduction and this has resulted in higher enquiries over the past one week. The recently concluded Auto Expo has also been a success, which will only help in generating demand. At Mahindra we are hopeful that these positive initiatives would be the beginning of a gradual upswing for the auto industry as we move into the next financial year,” said Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Likewise, Tata Motors reported a 39% drop in total vehicle sales to 35,315 vehicles in February 2014 as compared with the same period last year.
However, the company’s passenger vehicle sales surged 6.7% to 11,325 vehicles on a year-on-year basis.
Honda Cars India posted a more than double rise in its domestic sales at 14,543 vehicles in February 2014 against the same period last year. “We are happy to see the huge demand for the all-new Honda City, which has gained the leadership position in