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Domestic car sales rise 6%, motorcycles down over 9% in August

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Domestic car sales rise 6%, motorcycles down over 9% in August
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New Delhi: Car sales in India rose 6.06% in August, the 10th consecutive month of growth as the auto industry continues its drive on a slow road to recovery partly driven by new model launches.

However, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) a major concern is the declining sales of motorcycles, which saw a drop of 9.59% in August due to demand slump in rural markets.

In August, domestic car sales stood at 1,63,093 units as against 1,53,781 units in the same month in 2014.

"We are on a slow and steady but not a very explosive growth path. This is the 10th consecutive month of increase in car sales," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.

New model launches such as Honda Jazz, Ford Aspire, Hyundai Creta and Maruti Suzuki's S-Cross partly helped in increasing the passenger vehicles numbers.

Mathur said that while the new launches did play a role in growth, there is a slow wider recovery taking place.

"Out of the 17 players in passenger vehicles segment, 9 witnessed growth in August. Gradually growth may become even broad-based," he said, adding that a cut in interest rates could help boost demand.

During the month, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 4.38% in its domestic car sales at 86,454 units as against 82,823 units in the same month last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India, saw its car sales decline by 1.8% to 32,985 units as against 33,593 units in the year-ago month.

Honda Cars India's sales stood at 14,691 units as against 11,166 units in the same month last year, up 31.56 per cent, SIAM said.

Homegrown Tata Motors domestic car sales were at 9,814 units as compared with 8,249 units in the same month previous year, up 18.97 per cent.

Utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its sales decline by 4.34% to 13,307 units as against 13,911 in August last year.

According to SIAM, motorcycle sales declined to 8,23,053 units last month from 9,10,312 units a year ago.

"Demand for motorcycle has suffered due to a slowdown in rural economy. It is a real area of concern as decline in motorcycle sales has brought down the overall vehicles sales," Mathur said.

Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 2.07% to 16,26,148 units from 16,60,512 units in August 2014, SIAM said.

In the motorcycle category, market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its bike sales decline by 15.46% to 4,13,169 units as against 4,88,739 units in August last year.

Rival Bajaj Auto had a marginal increase at 1,37,948 units in August as against 1,37,347 units in the year-ago month, SIAM said.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales decline by 17.46% to 1,26,378 units as against 1,53,120 units in August last year.

Scooter sales, however, were up 15.66% in August at 4,27,165 units as compared with 3,69,323 units in the year-ago period.

HMSI maintained its leadership position in segment posting a growth of 13.33% at 2,46,791 units as against 2,17,751 units in the corresponding month last year.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its scooter sales increase by 6.17% at 68,346 units in August as against 64,372 units in the same month last year. Hero MotoCorp witnessed a growth of 1.3% at 47,388 units as against 46,764 units last year.

Total two-wheeler sales in August were down 2.98% to 13,05,350 units as against 13,45,506 units in the same month last year.

Sales of commercial vehicles were up 7.58% to 52,198 units in August, SIAM said.

Mathur said the decline in light commercial vehicles (LCV) is also a cause for concern of the industry.

LCV sales in August stood at 29,182 units as against 31,518 units in the year-ago month, down 9.01 per cent, SIAM said.

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