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April 4, 2005

INDIA: Passenger car sales continue upward trend in March

While ‘official’ sales figures have yet to be declared, March results announced by leading manufacturers have shown healthy improvements over the same month last year.

While ‘official’ sales figures have yet to be declared, March results announced by leading manufacturers have shown healthy improvements over the same month last year.

The buoyant sales were the result of two main factors. First, customers postponed their purchase decisionss from February, expecting a reduction in prices due to the Union budget, which did not happen. The second reason was a keenness to buy before VAT was implemented in April – this tax is expected to increase car prices by up to 4% in most Indian states.

Market leader Maruti Udyog [Suzuki] sold 54,613 units, including 3,920 exports. Maruti sold 536,601 units in fiscal year 2004-05, up 13.6% over 2003-04.

Hyundai Motor India’s sales, including exports, were 23,669 units in March, a growth of 23.2% year-on-year. HMIL sold 16,315 units in India, up 18.3%, and posted cumulative sales of 224,243 cars in fiscal 2004-05, up 30%.

General Motors India (GMI) recorded growth of 35% in March 2005 to 3,516 units – the Tavera MUV alone sold 1,905 units.

Honda Siel Cars Indian sales rose 60% year-on-year to 5,154 units in March, mostly due to strong demand for the new City (a three-box sedan version of the Jazz/Fit hatchback). The company sold 4,436 units last month while the Accord sold an all-time high of 401 units and CR-V SUV sales reached 317.

Cumulative sales for the financial year were 37,480 units, up 73% over the previous year’s 21,703 units.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup

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