Car Sales in India breaks old Records

Automobile demand in India continued to increase and Car sales in India climbed the most in more than a decade in the last financial year. Sales in the year ended March 31 surged 30% to 1.98 million units from 1.53 million, according to data issued by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. That is the biggest percentage gain since a 60% increase in the year through March 2000.India has remained one of the fastest-growing markets for automobiles globally as easier availability of loans, rising personal incomes of the country’s estimated 350 million middle class population and a slew of new models continue to attract new buyers.

The sustained expansion of the market, in the midst of the global economic downturn that shrank demand in the U.S. and Europe, led existing players such as Suzuki and Hyundai to introduce more models and expand capacities as new companies such as Nissan Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG made their forays.

The local auto industry was expecting the government to raise excise tax, levied at vehicle dispatches from factories, by two percentage points in its budget for the next fiscal year that starts April 1. A tax increase would have forced auto makers to raise vehicle prices. But the budget, announced Feb. 28, kept the tax unchanged.

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