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INDIA: Carmakers continue to hit new highs

By just-auto.com editorial team | 1 November 2010

Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, India's two top selling car brands, posted record sales in October as a strong economy continued to bring consumers into showrooms to buy new models ahead of the religious festival season.

The religious holiday period peaks this month with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, seen as an auspicious time to make new big ticket purchases such as cars.

Top seller Maruti Suzuki India said sales jumped almost 40% from a year earlier to hit a monthly record of 118,908 units in October. The company has a market share of more than 50% and broke its previously monthly sales record of 108,006 set just one month earlier.

The figures come as Maruti reported a 5% jump in quarterly net profit. Chief financial officer Ajay Seth said he believed the car market would continue to grow.

Hyundai Motor India also reported its best ever domestic monthly sales of 34,725 in October, up 22.7% over same month last year.

India's largest domestic vehicle maker Tata Motors reported a 22.3% increase in its passenger vehicle sales to 24,478 units.

Strong sales have prompted the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers to increase its growth forecast this fiscal year to March 2011 to 18 to 20% from an earlier prediction of 13 to 15%.

The October 2010 sales marked the highest ever numbers in all large volume segments: The A2 segment achieved 77,502 sales vs the previous highest 68,921 units in September; A3 segment total was 11,621 (previous highest 10,883 units in May this year) and the C segment reached 15,379 against a previous high of 14,157 units in August.