Friday, May 11, 2012: 09:02:56 AM

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Auto sales decline in April

After a rise in sales figures in March, the month of April saw auto sales receding again

April’s data projected that growth of auto sales has slowed down considerably in the domestic automobile market. This is quite disheartening for Indian auto manufacturers, as sales had soared in the month of March, just prior to the Union Budget 2012-13. Sales had zoomed by 20.6% in March 2012, recording 292,118 units, according to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

According to Ravi Jaiswal, sales head at New Delhi based mid-sized auto dealership firm Baltic Hyundai, “Sales increased in March based on apprehension of increase in duties post the announcements in Union Budget, which would hike car prices.”
Sales in passenger vehicle market in India grew moderately in April and 8 of the country’s top 19 auto manufacturers in the country recorded 9% growth, selling 171,130 units. Market leader Maruti Suzuki India recorded a paltry 3.6% growth, although its entry-level segment comprising of Alto, A Star and WagonR saw decline of 26% in April, raising questions on the present stand of the segment in the domestic market.  
Sales in the two-wheeler market were also flat. However, there is one segment that had appeared as a clear winner amidst all- the diesel vehicle segment. With petrol cost sky rocketing, diesel emerged to be the preferred choice popularly.
Many auto makers, who are ready to cash in on the diesel trend, have upgraded their existing facilities or launched new ones, in order to cater to the production of diesel variants of popular car models.
Growth story
However, auto makers like premium car maker Skoda India expects the growth of the market to remain taut and hopes to maintain a 50% growth in car sales this year. Speaking to media, Skoda’s marketing head Kamal Basu confirmed the same.  
Skoda expects its Rapid variant to act as the main growth driver. Presently, Rapid contributes 40-45% to the total sales and Skoda expects this figure to reach 50-55%.

Priyanka Roy Chowdhury

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