Auto sales mixed in July;auto makers see higher sales in second-half

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New Delhi, Aug 1 (UNI) Country's automobile sector continues to witness mixed sales trends in July with four-wheeler sales remaining marginally lower, while two-wheeler offtake rising, despite increasing costs and higher interest rates.

''It has been a challenging month for the entire industry with the combined effects of increase in interest rates, hike in fuel prices and inflationary pressures affecting market sentiment,'' HMIL Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Arvind Saxena said.

HMIL, the country's second-largest car maker, said its total July sales, rose 28.2 per cent to 36,152 units.

Maruti Suzuki sold 58,543 units, including exports, in July compared with 57,909 units in the same month last year.

Multi-utility vehicle maker Mahindra&Mahindra Ltd said its July sales, including exports, fell to 18,407 units from 19,163 units. However, its exports increased to 1,105 units in the July compared with 627 units last July.

General Motors India said July sales increased 25 per cent to 5,706 units, mainly on higher offtake of its small car Chevrolet Spark, which went up 120 per cent to 3,570 units.

Honda Siel Cars India said its July sales slipped to 4,339 units from 4,533 units last year.

The two-wheeler industry continues to report higher sales in July with new product launches and expects a better second half ahead of the September-December festival season in the country.

Hero Honda Motors Ltd said its July sales, including exports, rose 39.8 per cent to 2,81,317 units from 2,01,191 units last year.

''Managing high double-digit growth in the post-festive season would be a challenge, and the second half of the 2008-09 financial year is going to be crucial to the full year outcome, for the industry as a whole,'' Hero Honda Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Anil Dua said.

Bajaj Auto Ltd showed a seven per cent rise in sales, including two-wheeler and three-wheeler sales and exports with 8,13,799 units in July compared to 7,57,481 units last year.

TVS Motor Company reported a 13 per cent growth in July with 1,18,545 units, including exports, from 1,05,366 units in the same period last year.

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