Rows of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. XUV 500 sport utility vehicles (SUV) are parked in a stock yard. (Photographer: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg) 

Car Sales Down 1.25 %; Passenger Vehicles Up Nearly 8% In January

Domestic passenger vehicle sales grew by 7.57 percent to 2,85,477 units in January this year, riding on a robust growth of utility vehicles which posted the second highest ever monthly volume.

According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers today, domestic passenger vehicle sales were at 2,65,389 units in the same month last year. Car sales, however, declined by 1.25 percent to 1,84,264 units last month as against 1,86,596 units in January last year.

“The overall growth in the PV sales in January is as per expectations and is also a reflection of the mood ahead of the Auto Expo,” SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said in New Delhi. The growth driver continues to be the utility vehicles segment, as it continued to draw a lot of customers, he added.

UV sales during the month stood at 85,850 units as against 62,263 units in the same month last year, a growth of 37.88 percent, SIAM said. "The UV sales in January this year is the second highest in terms of volumes after the highest clocked in July last year at 86,874 units," Mathur said.

The car segment is going through flat sales with the entry level segment not witnessing new model launches while customer preference has been shifting towards crossovers and compact SUVs, he added.

In January, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 4.05 percent in its domestic PV sales at 1,39,189 units. Rival Hyundai Motor India saw a growth of 8.31 percent at 45,508 units. Homegrown Mahindra & Mahindra registered a growth of 17.73 percent at 23,656 units, while Tata Motors saw its PV sales jump 48.58 percent to 21,872 units.

According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales in January were higher by 33.43 percent to 16,84,066 units compared to 12,62,140 units in the year-ago month.

Mathur said this reflected the overall strong demand for motorcycles and scooters in rural as well as urban markets.

Motorcycle sales last month jumped by 28.64 percent to 10,54,062 units compared to January 2017.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp posted a growth of 24.39 percent in its domestic motorcycle sales at 5,43,325 units as against 4,36,771 units in the year-ago month. Rival Honda Scooter and Motorcycle India (HMSI) sold 1,69,537 units as compared to 1,39,161 units in the same month last year, a growth of 21.82 percent.

Bajaj Auto's motorcycle sales in January stood at 1,63,111 units as compared to 1,19,803 units in January 2017, up 36.14 percent.

In the scooters segment, market leader HMSI saw its domestic sales jump by 39.55 percent to 3,19,318 units as against 2,28,811 units in the year-ago month. Chennai-based TVS Motor sold 84,140 units as compared to 66,734 units in January last year, up 25.91 percent.

Hero MotoCorp's scooter sales stood at 76,062 units as compared to 34,949 units in the year-ago months, up 117.63 percent.

SIAM said sales of commercial vehicles grew 39.73 percent to 85,660 units in January as against 61,305 units, SIAM said.

Vehicle sales across categories registered 30.71 percent growth at 21,17,746 units, compared to 16,20,179 units in January 2017, it added.