India car sales rev up in July

Helped by softer interest rates on vehicle loans as well as their better availability, the country’s top car makers posted healthy sales growth in July.

Riding on the success of its new launches, the A-star and Ritz, the July sales of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker, jumped 29.8 per cent to 67,528 from 52,010 in the year-ago month.

Sales in the A2 (compact car) segment, where the company sells the Alto, Wagon R, Zen Estilo and Swift in addition to the A-star and Ritz, stood at 48,115, up 38 per cent from 34,795 in July last year.

The A3 segment saw sales climb more than 51 per cent to 9,101, as against 6,009 a year ago. Maruti sells the SX4 and Swift DZire sedans in this segment. The Swift DZire has a waiting period across most cities, though some analysts have said that it has impacted SX4 sales. Exports grew 87 per cent to 10,546 in July 2009 from 5,632 in July 2008.

Mahindra & Mahindra, the country’s largest maker of utility vehicles, reported a 56 per cent growth in utility vehicle sales to 16,688 in July from 10,672 in the corresponding month a year ago. Company executives said sales of the newly-launched Xylo and Bolero were strong during the month.

“The demand for our new product, the Xylo, has shot up substantially and we have a three- to four-week waiting period on the vehicle. We have already sold more than 8,000 in July,” said M&M President (automotive sector) Pawan Goenka. Sale of the Bolero went up on the back of strong demand from the rural and semi-rural markets. However, exports continued to be under pressure in July – the numbers more than halved to 506 in July 2009 from 1,105 in July 2008.

Delhi-based Honda Siel Cars India witnessed sales grow 12 per cent to 4,857 in July 2009 as compared to 4,337 in the same month a year ago.

The company’s flagship, the City, sold 3,268 units, while the Civic sold 299 units and the Accord sold 223 units. Its premium compact hatchback, Jazz, which is built on the City platform and is the most expensive compact car in India, sold 1,037 during the month.

Source: Business Standard