Four months since the new government came into place and the automobile industry is feeling as buoyant as ever. The reason for this sentiment is the momentum of growth that has been achieved in these past four months. August became the fourth month where the car industry in India has shown a positive growth.
Surprisingly, car sales grew more than 15 per cent in August, the fastest pace so far this fiscal year, helped by big discounts and new launches. It also helps that the festival season has begun in the earnest and India, during this time witnesses a lot of buying of new cars.
"We have witnessed the fourth successive monthly gain (in car sales) that is creating an impression that customers are returning to the market and sales are likely to stablise. We are not issuing any forecast, but the car segment should end the fiscal year with high single-digit growth," Siam director-general Vishnu Mathur said. "Other (vehicle) categories are also reflecting the change in market sentiments with positive growth last month."
The major performers in August were larger carmakers such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Honda Cars India, which together accounted for as much as 80 per cent of sales reported by manufacturers in the passenger-vehicle segment. Maruti posted growth of more than 29 per cent to sell 98,304 units in the domestic market, Hyundai sold 19 per cent more vehicles than the previous month and Honda car sales rose by as much as 88 per cent.
Earlier, there were apprehensions whether the market would be able to sustain the growth of the first two months or will it be a damp squib. However, data released on Wednesday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers reflect positive sales across most segments of vehicles. The commercial segment has grown and the local sales are playing catch up. New launches like the Hyundai Elite i20, the Honda Mobilio and the Tata Zest have reaped rich profits for the companies concerned and have given the customers a whole array to choose from. Reduction in petrol prices also have a role to play in the increasing number of new car buyers.
So, we can expect this growth to continue to the end of this year thanks to the festive season. The growth is also a reason to celebrate because as opposed to last year where the auto industry was in a serious slump at this time, the graph shows a positive growth this year at the same time.