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Automotive sector gets into gear

Automotive sector gets into gear

Aparna Dutt Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, IBEF

Sep 09, 2014 5:33 PM

Automotive sales in India have shown positive year-on-year growth for the fourth successive month in August, growing by over 10 per cent. According to analyst forecasts, sales are expected to grow by 8-12 per cent for the entire year.

Industry leader Maruti Suzuki saw its sales increasing by 29 per cent year-on-year to 98,304 units in August. It was followed by Hyundai with sales of 33,750 units (growth of 19.2 per cent year-on-year) and Honda with sales of 16,758 units (increasing by 88 per cent year-on-year). New car launches have also been instrumental in catalysing the growth, including the Grand i10 and Xcent for Hyundai and the Mobilio for Honda. Carmakers are aggressively planning to further flood the market with new models or upgrading models in their current portfolio, especially in view of the festive season around the corner. Maruti Suzuki plans to launch the Ciaz by mid-October while Hyundai launched the Elite i20 last month. Tata Motors, which launched the Zest recently, is looking to introduce the Bolt hatchback in the coming months. Both Tata and Mahindra are planning to bring in upgraded versions of their SUVs – Safari Storme and Scorpio – respectively. Other models slated to enter the market include Lamborghini Huracan, Mercedes GLA and Fiat Avventura while upgraded models are also planned for Renault Duster, Skoda Yeti and Mercedes-Benz E350 CDI.

This improved performance has been driven by a number of factors, including stable interest rates and fuel prices and improved consumer sentiments on the back of a stable government coming in at the centre. The government‘s decision to extend the excise duty cut on automobiles till December has also helped boost sales, and dealerships are observing a welcome improvement in both footfalls and conversions, presenting attractive growth opportunities for players across segments.

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