Motown October snippets

October brought a glimmer of good news for India’s beleaguered auto sector, with cars sales showing improvement and two-wheeler makers reporting some of the most robust numbers in recent months.
Top car maker Maruti Suzuki recorded a modest growth of 60 units in domestic sales by selling 96,062 cars in October, but its exports surged 27% from the year-ago month to 9,025 units. The company’s domestic market share rose to a three-year high of 40.7% on the back of consistent performance.
Sales of DZire, Maruti’s popular compact sedan, rose 20% to 17,211 units, helping offset the 7% year-on-year decline in sales of the company’s smaller models M800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR to 39,379 units. Maruti’s compact car portfolio, which comprises Swift, Estilo and Ritz, saw sales drop 1% to 22,188 units. Hyundai Motor India, Maruti’s closest rival, sold 224 more cars in the festive month compared with the 36,002 units a year ago on the back of strong demand for its newly launched i10 Grand hatchback.
Domestic car makers have had a bumpy ride so far this fiscal, with rising cost of fuel and auto loans keeping potential buyers away despite discounts touching three-year highs. In the first half of 2013-14, sales of passenger vehicles declined 5.15% to 1.2 million units. While some revival is expected in the ongoing festive season on the back of buoyant demand from rural areas, where sales increase in anticipation of a good harvest, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers expects the industry to record an overall drop in sales for the full year. For utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra, which is third in the pecking order, October sales dropped 15% from last year to 22,924 units. M&M was affected by the higher 3% additional duty levied on SUVs in the Budget.
Passenger vehicle sales at Tata Motors stood at 14,133 units. Aggregate sales of the company’s Nano, Indica and Indigo models stood at 10,944 units while that for its utility vehicle models Sumo, Safari, Aria and Venture stood at 3,189 units. Japanese carmaker Toyota posted a 7% increase in sales to 13,162 units, helped by the launch of its new Innova MPV. Honda Cars , the other Japanese automaker in the Indian market, reported a 39% growth in sales to 11,214 units compared with 8,085 vehicles sold in the same month last year.
October sales were boosted by a stellar performance of its Amaze compact sedan, of which the carmaker sold 9,564 units. In contrast, the company sold just 31 units of its City sedan and 1,472 units of Brio hatchback. General Motors India sold 7,715 vehicles in October this year, up 14% from a year ago, while Ford Motors India’s sales rose 21% to 9,163 units. In the country’s two-wheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp posted alltime high monthly sales of 625,420 units, up 18.17% from the same month last year. Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter too posted its highest-ever sales at 375,741 units, a 50% jump from a year ago. Sales at Chennai-based TVS Motors rose 2% to 173,229 units. Its motorcycle sales grew 13% to 82,352 units but that of scooters dipped to 42,124 units from 43,973 units sold in October 2012.

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