New Delhi, March 1 IANS | 10 months ago

Automobile manufacturers reported sluggish sales in February due to a slowing economy that is plagued by high fuel and interest costs.

Sales of India's largest passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki declined by 0.40 percent in February, which stood at 109,104 units due to a fall in exports.

The company had sold 109,567 units in February 2013.

There was a drop in the company's exports also. Maruti Suzuki exported just 9,346 units last month, which was 19.50 percent less than 11,612 units sold overseas during the corresponding month of 2013.

However, the company's domestic sale increased by 1.80 percent to 99,758 units during the month under review as compared to 97,955 units sold in February 2013.

Chennai-based automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor's sales in the month under review fell by 14.9 percent at at 46,505 units from 54,665 units in the like period of 2013.

In a statement, the company said its domestic sales during the month under review stood at 34,005 up from 34,002 units sold in February 2013.

The company's exports last month fell by 39.5 percent at 12,500 units down from 20,663 units being shipped-out during the corresponding month of last year.

"Post the reduction in excise duty, enquiry inflow has increased with February sales of 34,005 units with a growth of two percent over the earlier month and it is expected that this would lead towards creation of a positive momentum," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India was quoted in the statement.

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

Tata Motors' total sales, including exports, in the month under review fell by 35.56 percent at 39,951 units last months from an off-take of 61,998 units in the corresponding month of 2013.

The company's domestic sales including commercial and passenger vehicles in the month under review too decline. The off-take fell by 39.11 percent at 35,315 units from 58,002 units sales in January 2013.

The company's exports during the month under review grew by 16.01 percent and stood at 4,636 units from 3,996 vehicles shipped-out during the corresponding month of 2013.

M and M's off-take last month was down 12 percent at 42,166 units from at 47,824 units in the corresponding month of last year.

Domestic sales stood at 39,338 units during last month, as against 44,399 units during February 2013, a decline of 11 percent.

The company's exports during the month under review fell by 17 percent at 2,828 units from 3,425 units being shipped-off in the corresponding period 2013.

Japanese-Indian car joint venture Toyota Kirloskar Motor closed last month with a total sales of 11,284 units down from 13,979 units sold in February 2013.

In a statement, the company said it sold 10,100 units last month in the domestic market as compared to 12,756 units sold in February 2013.

"The excise duty cut was a welcome step taken by the government to revive sale. However, other factors like high interest rate, falling rupee and unstable fuel pricing still loom large in the market," N.Raja, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing was quoted as saying in the statement.

Japanese automobile major Honda's sales during the month under review grew by 123 percent at 14,543 units from 6,510 units sold in the corresponding month last year

Two and three wheeler maker TVS Motor Company closed last month with a seven percent increase in total sales as compared to sales logged in February 2013.

In a statement the company said it has logged total sales of 177,762 units in february, up form 165,696 units sold in the same month 2013.

(Posted on 01-03-2014)

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