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Car sales drop marginally in January

Cars sales dropped marginally in January to 168,303 units, as compared to 169,527 units in the same month in 2015, according to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Friday.

This was the first time in 14 months that car sales have dipped. Automobile companies had offered hefty discounts in December, which had resulted in a 12.87 growth in sales in that month.

According to SIAM, the industry produced a total 19.84 million vehicles, including passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, three wheelers and two wheelers in the April-January 2016 period, as against 19.63 million units in the corresponding 10-month period in fiscal 2014-15, registering a marginal growth of 1.04 percent.

The sales of passenger vehicles, however, grew by 8.13 percent in the April-January 2016 period over the same period last year. Within the passenger vehicles segment, passenger cars, utility vehicles and vans grew by 10.18 percent, 3.20 percent and 1.86 percent respectively during April-January 2016 over the same period last year.

Two-wheelers sales registered a marginal growth at 1.35 percent during April-January 2016 over April-January 2015. Within the two-wheelers segment, scooters grew by 11.01 percent while motorcycles and mopeds dropped by 2.18 percent and 5.02 percent respectively in April-January 2016 over April-January 2015.

In April-January 2016, overall automobile exports grew by 1.61 percent.

“There is muted growth in passenger car sales in January, said Vishnu Mathur, director-general, SIAM. “Growth declined as people advanced their buying to December due to record discounts offered by the companies.”

Mathur expects overall passenger vehicle sales to grow in the range of eight to 12 percent. “Even though sales in rural areas are down, we have been able to grow by 8 percent this fiscal,” he said. “So if the rural markets are back in the next fiscal, we expect better growth in FY17.”