Millennium Post

Feb car sales up 1.39 per cent; duty cut turns sentiment positive

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), which released the data on Monday, however, remains cautious on the outlook for the industry.

‘It will take some more time to see if the negative trends have reversed. We are getting feedback from companies that footfalls have increased,’ SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

The excise duty cut and the Auto Expo have created a positive sentiment but it is too early to say if all this would translate into sales, he added. SIAM said domestic car sales increased 1.39 per cent to 1,60,718 units in February from 1,58,512 units in the year-ago month.

‘Month after month, numbers are so volatile, there is so much fluctuation that there is no trend visible,’ Mathur said.

In the interim Budget on 17 February, Finance Minister P Chidambaram cut excise duty to 8 per cent from 12 per cent for small cars, scooters, motorcycles and commercial vehicles; 24 per cent from 30 per cent for SUVs; 20 per cent for mid-sized cars from 24 per cent and 24 per cent for large cars from 27 per cent.

During the April-February period of this financial year, car sales declined 4.6 per cent while the broader passenger vehicle segment witnessed a fall of 5.9 per cent.

‘The current fiscal is going to end on a negative for passenger and commercial vehicles. Even if sales are much better in March, it won't be able to erase the effect of rest of the fiscal, which has been largely negative,’ Mathur said. Market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a marginal increase in domestic sales at 84,595 units last month from 83,865 units in the same month a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor India sold 33,875 units, marginally lower than 33,936 units despatched in February 2013.

Sales of commercial vehicles were down 29.84 per cent to 47,982 units in February, the 10th straight monthly decline.

‘Next fiscal should be better as the new government would come in and roll out policies on various sectors, including mining. Moreover, various projects could also get approval,’ Mathur said.

Tata Motors' sales dipped 15.77 per cent to 9,026 units in February. Japanese car maker Honda posted a more than two-fold increase to 14,478 units.

Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its sales drop 16.16 per cent to 18,766 units.
According to SIAM, motorcycle sales last month climbed 5.39 per cent to 8,43,307 units.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp's sales increased 1.08 per cent to 4,41,716 units. Rival Bajaj Auto witnessed a decline of 12.56 per cent at 1,56,184 units last month. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), however, saw its bike sales grow 45.92 per cent to 1,42,549 units. Scooter sales in February were up 28.19 per cent to 3,11,957 units.

Segment leader HMSI saw sales up by 45.55 per cent to 1,70,974, while Hero MotoCorp witnessed a 2.26 per cent increase to 53,153 units. TVS Motor's scooter sales grew 39.33 per cent to 40,737 units.

Total two-wheeler sales in February rose 9.69 per cent to 12,20,012 units. Vehicle sales across categories registered an increase of 4.99 per cent to 15,23,693 units from 14,51,263 units in February 2013, SIAM said.
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