Car, bike sales zoom in August
Wholesale deliveries before the festive season kept the momentum going in the auto industry as car and bike sales swelled to record numbers in the domestic market in August. Companies across the board reported a healthy year-on-year growth in sales that was also enabled by ease in retail finance availability. Maruti, the car market leader, said sales were up 29% in August at 69,961 units against 54,113 units in August 2008. The growth was led by a 39% jump in volume-heavy compact car segment where it sold 52,473 units (37667) on the back of higher demand for new models like Ritz and Estilo. The company's export volumes shot up 156% on heavy demand for its AStar compact in European markets. Close rival Hyundai saw domestic market sales going up 13% at 24,401 units against 21,610 units in the same month last year. The combine of Tata Motors and Fiat saw 26% growth in sales at 20,146 units against 15,948 units in the same month last year. Of this, Tata sold 17,364 units (15,597 units), that included 2501 units of Nano. Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra also saw sales of its Scorpio, Xylo, Bolero and pick-ups growing 42% at 16,631 units against 11731 in August 2008. Honda, the luxury carmaker, sold 4102 units, showing 4% growth, that included 1,029 units of the Jazz hatchback. On the two-wheeler side, Hero Honda saw sales crossing the 4-lakh mark (4.15 lakh units) against 3.1 lakh units in August last year, a growth of 36%. TVS sold 1.26 lakh units in the month, driving in a growth of 11% over the 1.14 lakh units it sold in the same month last year. Domestic sales rose 20% to 1.15 lakh units in August as against 96238 units last year, though exports fell to 11747 units from 18083 units in the previous year.