Domestic Car Sales Tumble 4.21% In February

NEW DELHI: Car sales declined for a second straight month, posting a 4.21 per cent dip in February, as the Jat quota stir, inventory adjustment by some firms and postponed purchases in expectations of a price cut after the Budget affected demand.

According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales stood at 1,64,469 units in February as against 1,71,703 units in the same month last year.

“The Jat agitation had an impact on the industry, especially on market leader Maruti Suzuki’s dispatches. Moreover, there were inventory corrections by some auto manufacturers,” SIAM Deputy Director-General Sugato Sen told PTI here.

He further said: “Also, some dealers didn’t pick up stock ahead of the Budget as they were expecting some reduction in excise duties that would have affected prices differently.”

Although in the Budget, instead of reducing excise duties on passenger vehicles, an infrastructure cess of 1-4 per cent was imposed on different categories of automobiles, besides collection of tax at source at the rate of 1 per cent on purchase of luxury cars exceeding 10 lakh.

Snapping a 14-month growth streak, car sales in India had declined in January to 1,68,303 units compared with 1,69,527 units in January last year.

In February, market leader Maruti Suzuki India saw its domestic car sales decline by 3.94 per cent to 87,149 units as against 90,728 units in the same month last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) also witnessed a decline of 12.7 per cent at 32,442 units last month as against 37,163 units in February last year.

Honda Cars India’s domestic sales also dropped by 15.61 per cent to 12,713 units compared with 15,065 units in the year-ago month. Tata Motors’ car sales were at 9,284 units in February, as against 11,637 units last year, down 20.21 per cent, Siam said.

Home-grown utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra, however, posted a growth of 26.99 per cent in its domestic sales at 22,612 units as against 17,805 units in February last year.

The total two-wheeler sales in February rose 12.76 per cent to 13,62,219 units as against 12,08,084 in the year-ago period.

Motorcycle sales last month jumped 11.05 per cent to 8,59,624 units, from 7,74,122 a year earlier.

“There is a rebound in the motorcycle segment. We are seeing the rural market coming back slowly and the various measures announced in the Budget for the farm sector and infrastructure should help improve demand,” Sen added.

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Source: PTI