slowing Indian economy led to a 12.2 percent decline in commercial vehicle sales
during fiscal 2000, the Economic Times reported.

Total commercial vehicle sales reached 150,000 units compared with 171,000
in fiscal 1999, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers figures showed.

The newspaper said that sales of medium- and heavy- duty commercial vehicles,
which accounted for 58 per cent of the market, fell by 21.3 per cent to 87,588
units for 2000 compared with 110,000 in 1999.

However, light commercials posted a slight 4.4 per cent rise to 62,864 units
compared with 60,173.

According to the Economic Times, commercial vehicle
market leader Telco saw a 24 percent drop in medium and heavy vehicle sales
to 55,511 units compared with 73,783.

market share also dipped slightly to 63.3 percent from 66.2 percent.

Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland’s medium and heavy sales fell by 14 percent
to 31,917 units compared with 37,375.

But Leyland’s market share increased from 33.5 percent to 36.4 percent.

Citing industry analysts, the Economic Times said that medium and heavy commercial
vehicle sales have declined due to a rise in diesel prices that pushed up transport
companies’ operating costs.

There was also the implementation of a uniform sales tax while the economic
slowdown led to reduced sales in sectors such as cement and steel which consequently
required less transport.

Poor monsoons last year and increased railway efficiency reduced freight availability
for the domestic road transport industry, the newspaper added.

Telco again dominated the LCV segment, selling 39,553 units, up 4.6 percent
on 1999’s 37,800.

Eicher achieved a 21.7 percent rise to 8,438 units while Swaraj Mazda increased
sales 27.2 percent to 5,071. Ashok Leyland’s sales were up 11.9 percent to 542.

On the downside, Bajaj Tempo saw a 26.4 percent dip to 3,307 units and Mahindra
and Mahindra was down 7.3 percent to 5,953, the Economic Times said.

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