Motown April 2011 snapshot
Car sales started the new fiscal on a modest note as rising interest rates and fuel prices are set to moderate demand from the scorching 30%-plus growth rate of 2010-11. Companies are concerned about the “negatives” that are building up at a time when vehicle prices have gone up due to higher input costs, hitting affordability and sentiments. Maruti and Hyundai both spoke of decline in footfalls. And with RBI expected to tighten key interest rates further in its monetary policy review on Tuesday, the industry remains nervous. The after-effects of the Japanese quake, that has forced companies like Honda and Toyota to slash production, are likely to put further pressure on sales. Maruti’s sales in April grew in single digit. The company said domestic volume stood at 87,144 units, up by 9%. For Hyundai, the growth was 11% as it sold 31,636 units in the first month of this fiscal. The biggest disappointment came from Japanese giant Honda, which saw volumes fall by as much as 44% at 2,012 units. New models from Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota had led the charge last year.