Despite tough market conditions, car sales in India grew by 6.71 per cent during July, mainly on account of low base in last year due to strike at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant.
According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in July stood at 1,43,496 units as against 1,34,473 units in the same month last year.
"Car sales are growing mostly due to diesel models, which have also started seeing moderation in demand except for one or two models. This year's car sales growth has also been magnified by the low base of last year due to strike in Maruti," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.
Country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India had witnessed strike by workers at its Manesar plant in June last year that had severely hit production.
The ongoing lockout at Maruti's Manesar plant, which was declared on July 21, will start impacting the industry's numbers from this month and going forward, he added.
"There is nothing positive which has happened last month to spur growth, except for slight moderation in petrol prices. Otherwise, interest rates remain high and consumer sentiments are down," Mathur said.
He said the industry is "hoping that the new finance minister would take up steps so that there could be moderation of interest rates and the gap in the prices between petrol and diesel fuels is reduced so that demand can pick up again."
In the passenger car segment, market leader Maruti Suzuki's sales jumped by 8.32 per cent to 56,851 units.
Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales increased by 7.84 per cent to 27,500 units. Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' car sales were up by 51.13 per cent at 21,153 units.
In July, total sales of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 7.53 per cent to 14,46,959 units from 13,45,644 units in the same month last year.
Total two-wheeler sales last month increased by 7.45 per cent to 11,32,696 units from 10,54,120 units in July 2011.
According to the SIAM data, motorcycle sales in the country grew 4.98 per cent during the month to 8,21,821 units from 7,82,852 units in the same month last year.
"Bike sales is the slowest since March this year, which was at 1.15 per cent," Mathur said.
In this segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp posted 1.03 per cent fall in sales to 4,36,994 units in July. Rival Bajaj Auto's sales went down marginally to 2,00,535 units.
However, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI)