Mixed sales performance of auto companies in August

New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS) August sales threw up mixed results for the automobile sector, with passenger car manufacturers making gains and commercial vehicle-makers losing steam, data released by the auto companies Monday showed.

High interest rates, rising fuel prices and an overall slowdown in the economy has dented nearly all the automobile manufacturers. However, good export demand arising out of a depreciating rupee value helped companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Bajaj Auto.

The country's largest car-maker, Maruti Suzuki's sales grew by 61.2 percent at 87,323 units in August, due to healthy domestic and export demand. The company had sold 54,154 units in August, 2012.

The company's Manesar plant was locked out in August 2012 following labour unrest.

There was a sharp rise in the company's exports. Maruti Suzuki exported just 11,305 units in the month under review, 180.9 percent less than 4,025 units sold overseas during the same month last year.

The company's domestic sale increased by 51.6 percent to 76,018 units during the month under review as compared to 50,129 units sold in August 2012.

Hyundai Motor, on the other hand, reported an increase of 11.58 percent in total sales in August on the back of healthy exports, which stood at 52,319 units as compared to 46,886 units sold in the corresponding month of 2012.

The car manufacturer's exports grew by 28.87 percent for the last month which stood at 24,008 units, up from 18,629 units shipped out in August, 2012. The company's domestic sales grew marginally by 0.19 percent, and stood at 28,311 units from 28,257 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

"Exports have shown decent growth on account of strong demand from non-European markets while the domestic market continues to witness pressure," said Rakesh Srivastava, vice president (sales and marketing), Hyundai Motor India.

However, other major players in the Indian auto market Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) reported a drop in sales.

Tata Motors' sale of passenger vehicles in the domestic market slumped by 50 percent to 11,564 units in August. The company's total sale of commercial and passenger vehicles was down 31 percent at 49,611 units.

M&M's off-take last month was down 17 percent at 37,897 units. The passenger vehicles segment sales were down 27.5 percent at 15,821 units.

Two- and three-wheeler maker TVS Motor said it sold 155,532 units (two-wheelers - 148,469 units, three-wheelers - 7,063 units) against 154,647 units (two-wheelers - 150,740 units, three-wheelers - 3,907 units) sold in August 2012.

The other two- and three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto reported a decline of nine percent in overall sales for August which stood at 312,188 units from 344,906 units sold in the corresponding month last year. However, exports grew by 10 percent for the month under review at 144,160 units from 131,526 units sold in the like period of 2012.

Hero MotoCorp reported a four percent growth in August sales at 459,996 from 443,801 units sold in the corresponding month of last year.

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