Passenger vehicle sales continued to grow at a quick pace in August, as auto makers sent more utility vehicles and cars to their showrooms ahead of a festival season that they expect to bring strong volumes to the industry.
Sales at the country's top 12 automakers are estimated to have grown 16% in the past month to more than 2,55,000 vehicles. These are wholesale numbers as monthly retail sales aren't reported regularly.
Industry experts cited low fuel prices, new launches, especially in the compact SUV segment, good rainfall that is expected to revive the rural economy and higher salaries for government staff for the improved sentiment.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki posted a 12.3% increase in August sales, dispatching 1,19,931 vehicles. Its main sales driver was utility vehicles, whose sales more than doubled last month. In this segment that includes the Ertiga, S-Cross, and Vitara Brezza, it sold 16,806 vehicles. Car sales rose 4.4% to 90,269 units.
At Hyundai Motor India, the country's second-largest carmaker, the growth was 6.7%. Renault India registered its highest ever-monthly sales of 12,972 units in August, more than eight times the year ago period, driven by demand for the Kwid small car.
Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra posted a 29% increase in sales last month.
In the two-wheeler segment, the country's top two manufacturers reported more than 25% growth each. Hero MotoCorp sold 6,16,424 units, including exports, an expansion of 28% over the corresponding month last year. At Honda Motor's domestic two-wheeler unit, sales rose 25% to 4,66,342 units.