January showed the traditional rebound in vehicle sales from December, where buyers tend to hold off for New Year registration dates to get better resale prices later. In the corresponding last year passenger car sales was 104,501 units, a 8.99 per cent increase. Maruti Suzuki's sprint to pole position in the sales ranking seems to be under pressure as sales decreased marginally to 54,366 units in January 2008 from 54,372 units in the same month last year. Hyundai Motors India Ltd's growth of 39.21 per cent in sales to 24,296 units in passenger cars, pushed the overall sales of passenger cars up.
In the two-wheeler space total sales continued to slip with sales of 605,455 units in January as compared to 680,014, a 11 per cent decrease. The number of Scooter/Scooterettee leaving the showroom increased 3.47 per cent to 87,537 units as compared to 84,598 units.
Total three-wheeler sales for the month of January 2008 decreased 15.15 per cent to 30,140 units in January as compared to 35,525 units in the corresponding month last year.
The appetite for new wheels remain dampened, with the Reserve Bank leaving interest rates on hold.
Medium and Heavy Commercial vehicles saw sales slip 8.42 per cent to 26,143 units in January 2008 as compared to 28,548 units in the corresponding month last year.
Analysts attribute the lack of finance as the key component in driving sales down. The feeling is that unless credit issue is tackled in the form of reducing the overall cost to consumers sales will continue to decline. They suggest enabling independent credit information bureaus to be set up and even lowering of excise duty.
For the Light Comercail Vehicles sales, however, increased 10.39 per cent to 20,645 units in January 2008, from 18,701 in the same month last year.
Automobile Exports saw a growth rate of 18.15 per cent during April-January 2008. Exports of two wheelers grew by 27.07 per cent.
Commercial vehicle export grew 17.88 per cent and passenger vehicles exports at 4.89 per cent in April-January 2008. Three wheeler exports declined by 2.23 per cent during this period.