New Delhi: Auto sales in India moderated in May with the country's largest car makers Maruti Suzuki, General Motors, Ford and TVS Motor posting declines in their numbers due to post-Budget price hikes, high interest rates and rising fuel prices. Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, however, witnessed sales going up.
During the month, the country's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp registered its highest ever monthly sales. Maruti Suzuki India recorded its domestic sales at 89,478 units compared to 93,519 units in the year-ago period, registering a fall of 4.32 per cent.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd's (HMIL) domestic sales grew by 2.85 per cent to 32,010 units from 31,123 units in the same month last year.
"The recent hike in petrol prices has depressed market sentiment, with the macro-economic indicators providing no cause for cheer, the demand outlook doesn't look very bright," HMIL Director (Marketing and Sales) Arvind Saxena said.
Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' domestic passenger vehicles sales for May stood at 20,503 units, a growth of 5.68 per cent over 19,401 units sold in the same month last year.
Mahindra & Mahindra's (M&M) domestic passenger vehicles segment registered a growth of 26.66 per cent, having sold 21,154 units as against 16,702 units during May 2011.
"We are happy to have achieved a growth...in spite of difficult and uncertain market conditions. All our brands, especially those in the personal category are doing well," M&M Chief Executive, (Automotive Division) Pravin Shah said.
Car maker General Motors India's sales declined by 27.01 per cent at 6,079 units during May this year. It had sold 8,329 units in the same month of 2011.
Another car maker Ford India reported a fall of 14.33 per cent in its domestic sales to 6,036 units in the reporting month from 7,046 units in the same month last year. "Despite the challenging market conditions, Ford is confident in the long-term future of the automotive market in India... We are working to offer more diesel vehicles to keep up with increased demand," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham said.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) witnessed an over two-fold increase in car sales to 15,501 units in May, driven by robust demand for its all models. It had sold 7,470 units in the corresponding month last year.
According to TKM Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh, production was affected by tsunami last year, thus affecting sales in May 2011. "The sales have been good, despite the low market sentiments," he said.
Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd (NMIPL) reported 97.61 per cent rise in sales at 3,138 units in May as against 1,588 units sold in the year-ago period. "Despite the fact that the auto industry in India has been going through some uncertainty in view of the recent fuel price hike and general economic growth, our sales have remained strong... This performance has been underpinned by the strength and diversity of our model range," NMIPL Managing Director Ishida Takayuki said.
On the two-wheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp reported its highest ever monthly sales at 5,56,644 units in May, registering a growth of 11.28 per cent. It had sold 5,00,234 units in May 2011.
"We have been setting new industry benchmarks month after month which is an indication not only of our progress in our journey, but also the trust of our valued customers," Hero MotoCorp Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Anil Dua said.
Rival Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India reported 52.02 per cent growth in its total sales for May at 2,21,540 units as against 1,45,729 units in the corresponding month of the previous year.
Chennai-based TVS Motor Company's domestic two-wheeler sales declined 4.31 per cent to 1,51,980 units in May 2012 from 1,58,829 units registered in May, 2011. Another two-wheeler maker Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) posted a 21.59 per cent increase in its sales to
36,746 units from 30,222 units in the same month in 2011.
"We have received a good response from the market for all our products, including the newly launched Hayate, a mass segment motorcycle," SMIPL Vice-President (Sales and Marketing) Atul Gupta said.