Sucheta Dalal :Total auto sales jump 68% to 1 million units in December
Sucheta Dalal

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Total auto sales jump 68% to 1 million units in December  

January 8, 2010

The Indian automobile industry recorded an impressive 68% growth in sales in December last year, thereby continuing with the push it had received from two stimulus packages since 2008-end and successfully beating the year-end blues, reports PTI.


According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, total vehicle sales in the country rose to an astonishing 10,00,500 units last month against 5,97,241 units in the year-ago period.


All major manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors, Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto, registered healthy jumps, which were further fuelled by the low-base effect of 2008 due to the slowdown in the domestic auto market.


Thanks to the late surge in sales towards the second half of the year, total domestic automobile sales in year 2009 grew by 16.9% to 1,13,20,918 units compared to 96,82,113 units in 2008.

"In fact in the passenger vehicle segment, India was the third highest growing market in the world after China and Germany in 2009," SIAM president Pawan Goenka told reporters at the 10th Auto Expo.


While India's passenger vehicle sales were up 18%, China's 42% growth was propelled by a tax cut on cars announced in January 2009, he said. Germany saw 25% growth buoyed by the incentives given for buying new vehicles in exchange of old ones. Mr Goenka said sales in 2009 were also boosted by new launches totalling 11, the highest in recent years.


Passenger car sales stood at 1,15,268 units in December, the ninth straight month of growth, compared to 82,174 units in the same month a year ago, up 40.3%.


Motorcycle sales rose by 76.7% to 5,92,596 units in the month from 3,35,370 units in December 2008, it added.


Carrying forward the upward march that began in July, sale of commercial vehicles in the country soared by nearly three-fold to 48,614 units.


In the passenger car segment, sales of market leader Maruti Suzuki increased by 35.4% to 62,653 units in December 2009 from 46,262 units in the year-ago period. The country's second largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India registered 42.6% growth at 22,252 units compared with 15,600 units in the corresponding month of 2008, SIAM said. Tata Motors' sales went up to 12,944 units from 8,422 units in December 2008, a jump of 53.7%.


In the motorcycle segment, market leader Hero Honda's sales jumped by 78.7% to 3,51,953 units in December 2009 compared to 1,96,914 units in the year-ago month. Rival Bajaj Auto's sales soared by over two-fold to 1,46,262 units.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Company registered a growth of 43.3% at 34,141 units in December. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales increasing by 29.9% to 40,241 units from 30,978 units in the year-ago period.


SIAM said that total two-wheeler sales in December last year surged by 66.6% to 7,67,796 units from 4,60,852 units in the corresponding month in 2008.

In the scooter segment, sales jumped by 41.4% to 1,27,597 units against 90,247 units a year ago, SIAM said. HMSI's sales were up by 24.7% at 70,048 units against 56,186 units in the same month in the previous year. SIAM said TVS Motor's scooter sales also increased by 43.9% at 20,735 units compared to 14,413 units in the same month in 2008. Hero Honda's scooter sales were up 30.1% at 16,081 units as against 12,363 units in the year-ago period.


Three-wheeler sales during December were up by 83.67% at 34,993 units compared with 19,052 units, it added.


Light commercial vehicle sales were up by over two-fold to 24,577 units against 10,997 units in the year-ago period. Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales rose by over three-fold to 24,037 units compared to 6,900 units in the same month in the previous year.

Yogesh Sapkale


-- Sucheta Dalal