New Delhi: Car sales in India fell for the first time after 14 months of continued growth in January as discounts dried up during the month with automakers correcting inventory at dealer levels post year-end freebies dole out.
According to data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in January declined marginally to 1,68,303 units compared with 1,69,527 units in January 2015. It is, however, bullish on the passenger vehicles segment to grow in the range of 8-12 per cent in the next fiscal. Overall passenger vehicle sales during the month grew marginally to 2,32,016 units in January as against 2,09,086 units in the year-ago period.
"There is muted growth in passenger car sales in January. Growth declined as people advanced their buying to December due to record discounts offered by the companies. Also, there was correction at inventory levels during the month," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
He, however, termed the dip in passenger car sales a "temporary blip". "We don't expect it (dip sales) to be a long term phenomenon," Mathur said.
Rising for a 14th straight month, car sales in the country surged by 12.87 per cent in December as customers were induced by the auto industry into buying new vehicles by offering record discounts. When asked about the outlook for the next fiscal, Mathur said.
"We expect the overall passenger vehicle sales to grow in the range of 8-12 per cent. In the current fiscal we expect to grow by 6-8 per cent. Till January we have grown by 8 per cent." Elaborating further he said.
"Even though sales in rural areas are down, we have been able to grow by 8 per cent this fiscal. So if the rural markets are back in the next fiscal, we expect better growth in FY17."
During last month, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a marginal growth in its passenger vehicles sales at 1,06,383 units. Its car sales declined 1.41 per cent to 87,757 units during the period. Rival Hyundai Motor India saw its passenger vehicle sales rise by 9.3 per cent to 38,016 units in January, driven by newly launched SUV Creta.
Its passenger car sales declined 9.36 per cent to 31,398 units during January compared with 34,643 units in the same period of previous year. Honda Cars India's passenger car sales stood at 16,613 units as against 15,331 units in the same month last year, up 8.36 per cent, SIAM said....