Indian passenger car sales grew by 18% year on year in August 2004. The rise would have been higher had it not been for the 10-day truckers’ strike that hampered the delivery of parts and vehicles.

This is the fifth consecutive monthly rise this year, mostly triggered by a spate of new models and discounts. Easy availability of loans and low interest rates is another factor that is helping sales.

62,846 cars were sold in August 2004 versus 53,177 units a year ago. Bus and truck sales went up 16.5% to 23,269 units (19,962 in 2003).

Passenger car market leader Maruti Udyog – arguably the least affected by the truck strike due to the close proximity of its suppliers – posted a rise of 28.2% to 32,135 units.

On the other hand, Hyundai Motor India, faced with expansion teething problems and the truck strike, saw a decline of 11% to 9,818 units.

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Tata Motors sales increased by 23.7 % to 11,611 units. Sales of Honda Siel Cars India grew 97.7% to 2,850 units.

The Indian passenger vehicle industry is about to enter its busiest time of the year as the festival season starts.

Deepesh Rathore / Tilak Swarup