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Strike, interest rates dampen automobile sales

Tuesday November 01, 2011 07:45:08 PM, IANS

New Delhi/Chennai: Production losses at industry leader Maruti Suzuki and a slump in sales because of high interest rates and rising fuel prices have resulted in a grim sales picture for the auto industry in October.

Crippled by a fortnight-long strike at its manufacturing facility in Manesar in Haryana, Indian passenger car market leader Maruti reported a 53.2 percent fall in October sales.

Total sales were logged at 55,595 units, a 53.2 percent drop from the 118,908 vehicles sold in October 2010.

"The labour unrest at Manesar adversely impacted the production and sales numbers. The company lost production of over 40,000 units (Gurgaon and Manesar)," Maruti said in a statement.

In October, exports fell a whopping 63.6 percent to 4,137 units compared to 11,353 vehicles in the like month previous year.

Chennai-based automobile major Hyundai Motor reported a decline of 7.5 percent in its cumulative sales for the month under review at 48,325 units from 52,217 units in the like period last year.

"We have seen that sales get a boost in the festive season but this year sentiment has been tepid," said Director (marketing and sales) Arvind Saxena, Hyundai Motor.

The company's domestic sales reduced by five percent in the period under review at 33,001 units from 34,720 units in the corresponding month last year, the statement said.

Exports declined by 12.4 percent last month at 15,324 units as compared to 17,497 units in October 2010.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors's sales, including exports for October, increased by five percent at 68,009 units, compared to the 64,756 units in the like period last year.

"Company's domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for October were 63,838 (units), higher by nine percent over 58,806 (units) in October last year," the auto major said.

Despite the good performance in domestic segment, the company's exports in the period under review declined by 30 percent at 4,171 units from 5,950 units sold in October 2010.

Sales of the entry-level compact car Nano grew by 26 percent last month at 3,868 over October last year.

Driven by its new models Etios and Etios Liva, Toyota Kirloskar sales grew 63 percent last month at 10,762 units - up from 6,602 units in October 2010.

The model-wise sales were: Etios 3,405, Etios Liva 2,454, Innova 3,411, Corolla Altis 700 and Fortuner 763.

In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp's sales grew by a marginal 1.32 percent at 512,238 units, from 505,553 in the like period of last year.

According to the company, it logged an average sales of over five lakh in all three months of second quarter.

Japanese two-wheeler maker Yamaha Motor closed last month with a sales growth of around 27 percent over October 2010.

Last month, the company sold 47,240 units (domestic 38,229 units and exports 9,011), up from 37,251 units (domestic 31,791 and exports 5,460) sold in October 2010.

"We have established a firm foothold in the 150 cc segment in the Indian market. The festive season has played a vital role in catapulting sales for Yamaha," said Jun Nakata, director, sales and marketing, India Yamaha Motor.






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