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Car sales zoom over 16% in April, Maruti, Tata, Honda contribute the most

Ajay Modi / New Delhi 02 May 17 | 08:51 AM

Strong performances by Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Tata Motors, and Toyota helped passenger vehicle sales grow 16 per cent in April.

New launches in recent months continued to drive sales for many companies. Sports utility vehicles remained on a growth path.

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Market leader Maruti Suzuki clocked record monthly domestic sales of 144,492 vehicles, 23 per cent more than the 117,045 vehicles sold in April 2016. All segments of vehicles except vans posted double-digit growth for Maruti: the mini segment (Alto and WagonR) grew by 22 per cent; the compact segment (Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno, and Dzire) by 39 per cent; and utility vehicle by 28 per cent.

South Korean car maker Hyundai, the second-biggest player in India, reported domestic sales growth of 5.7 per cent in April to 44,758 vehicles. Rakesh Srivastava, director, sales and marketing, Hyundai, said a positivity was visible in the market owing to factors like a good rabi crop, low inflation, a buoyant stock market, and reviving economic activity. “These factors will continue to support demand," he added.

Tata Motors has seen a rise of over 22 per cent in domestic sales of passenger vehicles, helped by demand for its compact sedan Tigor and SUV Hexa, both launched in 2017. The company hoped to see this momentum persist, said Mayank Pareek, president, passenger vehicles business unit, Tata Motors.

Japanese car maker Honda reversed its declining trend following the launch of its new City in February. The 38 per cent growth in April came on the back of the City and its recently launched crossover WR-V. Yoichiro Ueno, president and chief executive officer, Honda Cars India, said the new financial year had begun on a positive note.

Rival Japanese car maker Toyota posted sales growth of 52 per cent on a low base in April a year ago when it was unable to sell its best sellers, Innova and Fortuner, in the national capital region due to a Supreme Court ban that was lifted in August 2016. The new Innova Crysta and new Fortuner continue to help sales. Nissan, another Japanese car maker, reported 39 per cent growth in April sales.

Mahindra & Mahindra, Renault and Ford did not announce their April numbers on Monday. However, sources said both Mahindra & Mahindra and Renault had seen declines in sales last month. Ford’s sales are estimated to have grown over 16 per cent.

Car makers sold a record 3 million passenger vehicles in the domestic market during 2016-17. The current financial year is expected to set a new record.

Abdul Majeed, partner, PwC, said the industry was getting back to the growth trajectory. “The overall environment currently supports the automotive industry growth. The economy is expected do well and the impact of demonetisation is wearing off. With predictions of a good monsoon, the rural economy will fare better than last year," he said.

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