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February'14 Indian Auto Sales: 'Good' but wasn't that 'Great'

February'14 Indian Auto Sales: 'Good' but wasn't that 'Great'

Snapshot: The excise duty cut announced in the interim Budget last month, has helped the Indian Auto Sector to recover marginally from the prolonged slowdown

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After a long stretch of slowdown, February finally brought some good news for the automobile manufacturers in the country. Leading car makers- Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai saw an uptick in their sales, mainly driven by recent price cuts, following the lowering of excise duty in the interim budget. Similarly, Ford and Honda India posted a good double digit growth during the month. While few of them including Tata Motors, Toyota Kirlosakar Motor (TKM) and Mahindra & Mahindra witnessed decline in their sales graph.

Owing to fresh dispatches of its new model Celerio, Maruti Suzuki India reported a 1.8 percent growth in domestic sales at 99,758 units in February, against 97,955 units in the year-ago period. Sales in the budget car segment, including the M800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR dropped 9.6 percent. Whereas the segment that saw the addition of Celerio and included Swift, Estilo and Ritz saw growth of 19.4 percent.

At 34,005 cars, Hyundai sold just three units more than in the corresponding month last year. “Post the reduction in excise duty, inquiry inflow has increased with February sales of 34,005 units, a growth of 2 per cent over the earlier month, and it is expected that this would lead towards creation of a positive momentum,” HMIL Senior Vice-President-Sales and Marketing Rakesh Srivastava said.

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) reported a over two-fold increase in domestic sales at 14,543 units in February, mainly led by the recently launched ‘City’. Regarding this growth, Jnaneswar Sen, HCIL Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales) said, “We are happy to see the huge demand for the all new Honda City which has gained the leadership position in its segment from the first month itself."

Similarly, Ford India’s domestic sales were up by 51.42 percent at 6,799 units in February as against 4,490 units in corresponding month of the previous year. “The recent reductions in excise duty should provide a positive message to customers and encourage them to make the most of the outstanding value being offered on our smart, safe and fuel-efficient products,” said Vinay Piparsania, Ford India Executive Director (Marketing, Sales and Service).

India's leading SUV maker- Mahindra & Mahindra's domestic sales stood at 39,338 units, as against 44,399 in the same month previous year, down 11.39 percent year-on-year. "The auto industry has received the much needed boost in terms of an excise duty reduction and this has resulted in higher inquiries over the last one week," M&M chief executive (automotive division) Pravin Shah said.

Even, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a 20.82 percent fall in its domestic sales at 10,100 units in the previous month. “The auto industry has received the much needed boost in terms of an excise duty reduction and this has resulted in higher inquiries over the last one week,” M&M Chief Executive (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) reported a 20.82 per cent fall in its domestic sales at 10,100 units in February 2014. “The excise duty cut is a welcome step taken by the government to revive sale. However, other factors such as high interest rates, falling value of rupee and unstable fuel pricing still loom large on the market,” TKM Senior Vice-President (sales and marketing) N. Raja said.

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