The Indian passenger car sales have reported a rise for the first time in the past five months. Sales have increased to 22% to 1.15 lakh in the month of February against the same month in 2008.
The sales figure has increased because of the easing credit at the backdrop of lower auto loan rates offered by the banks. At the same time the government tax cut has also pushed up the car sales.
Out of 13 passenger car makers 10 have recorded a rise in their sales figure. Hyundai Motor India reported a rise of 45.3% to 21,215 units in February as compared to 14,600 units during the last year. Where as the sales figure of Maruti Suzuki India increased by 19% to 70,625 units in the month.
However analysts feel that this may not be a long term phenomenon. Society of Indian Automobile Industry (SIAM) director general Dilip Chenoy said, "Sales in the fiscal year ending this month will be either flat or marginally negative. We are not expecting anything many change in this years numbers this fiscal year."
On the other hand, SIAM reported an increase of 16.2% to 6.30 lakh in the sales figure of two-wheelers. Motorcycles that comprise of 85% of the two-wheeler sales market rose by 15.6% to 4.91 lakh units. In February, Hero Honda clocked an increase of 24% to 3.29 lakh units in its two-wheeler segment.
Scooter sales in February were up by 21% at 100,789 units against 83,256 units in the same month last year.
Though the automobile industry saw a revival in both car and two-wheeler demand but analyst feel that this too early to speak on the change. "The February sales growth rate is healthy this time as the base month (February'08) had lower sales because people postponed purchases on hopes of a duty cuts in the budget. Since there was not a regular Budget this year and no duty cuts were expected, people continued with purchase plans, thus giving a temporary revival in demand," an analyst said.
However the sales of commercial vehicle continued to decline and fell by around 32% to 31,069 units in February over from 45,478 units, a year ago.