Car sales in India were at a slow lane in February with main players Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai posting single digit growth during the month while others like GM India and Mahindra & Mahindra saw decline in sales.
Tata Motors and Honda Cars India were, however, exceptions posting healthy double-digit growth rates during the month.
The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India’s domestic sales increased by 8.2 per cent during the month to 1,07,892 units as against 99,758 units in February 2014.
Sales of its bread and butter mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, rose 7.1 per cent to 39,988 units, while compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo, Ritz and Dzire declined by 6.4 per cent to 42,778 units in February.
The sales of company’s mid-sized sedan Ciaz, which was launched in October 2014, stood at 5,410 units.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) saw its domestic sales growing by 9.7 per cent to 37,305 units last month as compared to 34,005 units in February 2014.
Commenting on the performance, HMIL Senior Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Rakesh Srivastava said the growth in additional and repeat buyers is higher than that of first time buyers.
“Reduction in interest rates could bring in the thrust to break the threshold of low growth and initiate double digit growth,” he added.
Tata Motors, however, reported a growth 14.15 per cent in its domestic passenger vehicles sales in February at 40,314 units as compared to 35,315 units in February 2014 riding on its new models Bolt and Zest.
“The trend of growth in passenger vehicles continued with the strong Zest sales and good response to the all-new Bolt,” the company said.
Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) also reported 16 per cent increase in domestic sales at 16,902 units in February 2015 as against 14,543 units in the corresponding month last year.
On the other hand, General Motors India reported 22.95 per cent decline in sales at 4,320 units in February as against 5,607 units in the same month last year.
Commenting on the sales performance, General Motors India Vice President P Balendran said: “The discontinuation of excise duty benefits impacted the industry during last two months. Even the Budget announcements are not enough to revive the consumer sentiment.”
Going forward, car sales will be driven mainly by new entries and the company expects the market to gain momentum only if interest rates are reduced in phases to facilitate consumer spending since over 85 per cent vehicles are purchased through financing, he added.
Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra domestic sales declined by 11 per cent to 34,918 units in February, compared to 39,338 units in the same period of previous year.
In the two-wheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp witnessed a 3.85 per cent decline in February 2015 at 4,84,769 units as against 5,04,181 units sold in the corresponding month last year.
Hero MotoCorp’s rival Bajaj Auto reported a 21 per cent decline in motorcycle sales at 2,16,077 units in February 2015. The company had sold 2,73,323 units in the year ago period.
Chennai-based TVS Motor company posted 11 per cent increase in domestic two wheeler sales at 1,64,508 units in February 2015, against 1,47,580 units in February 2014.
Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland posted a 36 per cent jump in total sales at 10,762 units for February, 2015, as against 7,915 units in the same month last year.