The automobile industry has started 2011 on a healthy note, with sales of 10 leading car manufacturers rising by around 14 per cent to 245,664 units, owing to strong demand in the domestic market. A total of 216,002 units were sold in the year-ago period.
Exports, however, remained a concern for both Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL)and Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), who together account for nearly 65 per cent of sales in the Indian market.
MSIL, which accounts for nearly one of every two cars sold in the country, posted sales of 109,743 units, a 14.7 per cent rise. While the company's domestic sales grew by 23.8 per cent to 100,422 units, exports dropped to the lowest in the last three months at 9,321 units. MSIL is the first in the country to cross the 1-million sales mark in the first three quarters of the financial year. MSIL had recorded sales of 1037,408 units in April-December, 2010.
HMIL reported a dip in sales, which were dragged down by falling exports. The company also saw exports fall by 43.5 per cent during the month to 13,010 units. In the domestic market, sales grew by 2.4 per cent to 30,306 units. Hyundai executives, however, say that the slow growth in the domestic market was primarily because of a shutdown in the plant, due to which, over 5,000 cars could not be delivered.
HMIL Director (marketing and sales), Arvind Saxena, said, “Hyundai continues to be on a steady growth path, riding on the 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.”