Indian Autos Impressive sales growth in begining of 2011

Indian car makers opened the year 2011 on a happy note recording impressive sales numbers during January despite the price rise due to increase in input costs, according to figures released by the companies.

Led by the country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki, Ford India, General Motors and Toyota Kirloskar logged overall growth in sales volumes. However, Korean car maker Hyundai Motor saw 17.7 percent drop in overall volumes while its domestic sales marked a marginal growth of 2.4 percent.

Both Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor saw drop in their export sales. Maruti Suzuki registered a 14.74 percent rise in its sales at 109,743 units in January as against 95,649 units in January 2010. The sales include 9,321 export units, the company said in a statement.

Segment wise, the Maruti’s A2 compact cars like Alto, Wagon-R, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz saw a 23.8 percent rise in sales, which stood at 72,479 units against 58,540 units in the first month of 2010.

In the A3 sedan segment, sales of cars like SX4 and Dzire grew by 32.6 percent. The sales stood at 11,930 units as against 8,995 units in December 2010.

In the C segment, which consists of models such as Omni, Versa and Eeco, Maruti recorded a growth of 27.7 percent at 13,945 units as against 10,923 units in the like period of 2010.

During January 2011, the company’s cumulative sales in the current fiscal crossed 10 lakh units at 10,37,408 units, the statement said. This was achieved in a record period of less than 10 months.

Hyundai Motor India registered 2.4 percent domestic sales growth in January over last year’s figures. However, the company registered an overall sales drop of 17.7 percent due to a dip in exports volume.

Hyundai closed January selling 43,316 units (domestic 30,306, exports 13,010) as compared to 52,628 units (domestic 29,601, exports 23,027) in January 2010. According to Arvind Saxena, director of marketing and sales, the company is on a steady growth path riding on strong performance of its compact cars.

“We expect the domestic market to continue to grow although the rate might come down to low double digit this year,” he said.

According to Hyundai Motor, the segment-wise cumulative sales in January 2011 are A2 (Santro, i10, i20) 39,343 units; A3 (Accent and Verna) 3,957 units; A5 (Sonata Transform) 11 units; Santa Fe (SUV) 5 units.

Driven by its compact car model Figo, the Indian subsidiary of auto major Ford began the new year by selling 10,026 units in January, as against 2,453 units sold in the corresponding month of 2010, a statement said Tuesday.

In the process, Ford beat its global rival General Motors in India that sold 9,984 units last month after lagging behind the latter for a long time.

Last month, Ford sold over 8,600 Figos and the balance is accounted by the company’s other models like Fiesta, Ikon and Endeavour. The company did not share the model wise sales numbers.

“The year 2010 was a landmark year for us, with Ford nearly tripling its annual sales volume. Now we’ve begun 2011 with record-setting January sales,” Ford India’s president and managing director Michael Boneham said.

In 2010, Ford India sold 83,887 cars, logging a growth of 184 percent over the previous year’s figures. General Motors recorded six percent sales growth, selling 9,984 units in January as against 9,421 units sold during January 2010.

The sales comprised 3,272 units of the Chevrolet Spark, 3,345 units of Chevrolet Beat, 1,691 units of the Chevrolet Tavera, 715 units of the Chevrolet Cruze, 243 Units of Chevrolet Aveo, 331 units of Chevrolet Aveo U-VA, 296 units of Chevrolet Optra and 91 units of the Chevrolet Captiva.

According to P. Balendran, vice president of General Motors India, the increase in sales was primarily driven by the response to Chevrolet Beat, Spark and Cruze.

The Bangalore-based Toyota Kirloskar Motor registered 53 percent sales growth last month seling 9,185 units up from 5,989 units sold in January 2010, according to a company statement.

The company’s new compact car, Etios, launched in December 2010, got 22,000 bookings so far and the company has delivered 1,651 units this month.

Commenting on the performance, Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director of marketing, said: “It’s been a good beginning. The growth can be attributed to the encouraging sales of the existing models and the overwhelming response received from the Etios.”

Last month Toyota Kirloskar sold 5,284 Innovas, 1,139 Corolla Altis and 1,103 Fortuner. The other Japanese car maker Nissan Motor India Private Ltd (NMIPL) sold 1,857 units comprising of Micra 1,784 units, Teana 21 units, X-trail 52 units.



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