The new year has begun on sombre note for carmakers.
With no signs of recovery on the horizon, they are hoping for some policy boost in the Union Budget for next year to kickstart sales growth.
Sales of Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) declined in January, while those of other car makers remained in the single digits.
Maruti Suzuki, India’s biggest carmaker, reported an overall 1% decline in sales, while domestic sales grew 2%.
Hyundai’s domestic sales rose just 1.2%.
The company remains optimistic due to the shift to petrol cars.
Rakesh Srivastava, vice president (sales and marketing,) for Hyundai India, said, “The market was subdued on account of macro-economic factors. The change in price differential between petrol and diesel prices has increased interest in petrol cars, reflecting in the waiting period of models like Eon, i20 and Verna petrol. Marketing initiatives in the rural markets are bringing volume growth.”
At Tata Motors, sales plunged by half compared with last year despite new launches.
For Toyota, it was down 23%. “The market is still witnessing a slowdown, especially the passenger car segment. The prospects for the second half of 2013 look better. The repo rate cut is a welcome step. With the budget round the corner we are looking for some more measures that will bring about positive growth,” said Sandeep Singh, deputy MD and COO, marketing and commercial for Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
Mahindra & Mahindra bucked the trend selling 33% more passenger vehicles riding on demand for XUV 500 and Quanto.
Ford India’s sales dropped 34.05%. The company is expecting the government to introduce regulatory policies that are conducive to the growth of the automotive industry.
In two-wheelers, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India showed resilience with sales jumping up 22% riding on motorcycles, while scooter sales drooped 1%. Rival Suzuki Motorcycle India saw a 13.91% rise.