Auto cos ride out cash ban blues, sales gather steam

New Delhi: Major automobile makers Maruti, Ford, Toyota, Tata Motors and Honda today reported strong domestic passenger vehicles sales growth for February as the industry continued to recover from the demonetisation impact.

The country's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its domestic sales stood at 1,20,735 units, up 11.7 percent from 1,08,115 in February last year.

The company's growth was mainly driven by compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo, Dzire and Baleno, which grew by 9.4 percent to 47,002 units last month as against 42,970 in the year-ago period.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Sales of utility vehicles, including Gypsy, Grand Vitara, Ertiga, S-Cross and compact SUV Vitara Brezza, zoomed 110.5 percent to 17,863 units in February, from 8,484 in the same month of 2016, Maruti Suzuki said.

However, MSI's sales of mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, were down 6.8 percent at 33,079 units during the month under review compared to 35,495 in February 2016.

Ford India reported a 52 percent jump in its domestic sales at 8,338 units last month as against 5,483 in the same period a year earlier.

Ford India Executive Director, Marketing, Sales and Service Anurag Mehrotra said "the industry is seeing some green shoots, recovering from the impact of demonetisation".

Toyota Kirloskar Motor also reported an 11.93 percent growth in domestic sales at 11,543 units in February. The company had sold 10,312 units in the domestic market in
February last year.

Similarly, French auto major Renault today reported 26.8 percent increase in sales at 11,198 units in India in February compared to the year-ago month.

Tata Motors said sales of passenger vehicles in the domestic market went up by 12 percent to 12,272 units last month.

Tata Motors President, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit, Mayank Pareek said the growth in February was due to "a continued strong demand for the Tata Tiago".

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) also reported a 9.44 percent increase in domestic sales at 14,249 units in February as against 13,020 sold in the same month last year.

"The market has shown positive sentiment during February and HCIL has also benefited from it," HCIL President and CEO Yoichiro Ueno said.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said its domestic sales were up 4 percent at 42,327 units during the month as against 40,716 units in the year-earlier period.

HMIL Senior Vice President - Sales and Marketing, Rakesh Srivastava said during the month, there was "increased customer visits and conversions on the strength of improved customer confidence generated by the Union Budget, positively impacting the customer disposable income and overall business sentiments".

Nissan Motor India today reported 24.86 percent increase in domestic sales in February at 4,807 units as against 3,850 sold in the same month last year.

Home-grown utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra, however, reported a 2.26 percent decline in its domestic market at 40,414 units last month compared to 41,348 in
February 2016.

"The auto industry is seeing some positive trends emerging over the last two months. With rural sentiment improving, we believe there will be a turnaround in demand
over the next few months for small commercial vehicles space," M&M Chief Executive (auto division) Pravin Shah said.

In the two-wheeler segment, Royal Enfield, the two-wheeler division of Eicher Motors, reported an 18.88 percent jump in total sales at 58,439 units in February as
against 49,156 in the same month last year.

Updated Date: Mar 01, 2017 18:39 PM

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