Largest selling car: Maruti registers strong sales in European markets
INDIA’S largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India, majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor, announced record exports yesterday in August, led by strong sales across European markets.
Maruti's exports nearly tripled to 14,847 vehicles during the month, from 5,795 a year earlier, helped by its A-star hatchback launched last November.
"Data showed the highest ever monthly export volume in the company's history," Maruti said in a statement, reporting strong demand in European markets such as Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands.
India's car exports have been buoyed by incentives in major European markets to scrap old vehicles in exchange for new ones, aimed primarily at shoring up European automakers.
"In recent months, Indian carmakers' sales have been boosted by the scrappage schemes in European markets," said Vaishali Jajoo, analyst at Angel Broking.
Including overseas shipments, Maruti's total sales rose 41.6 per cent to 84,808 vehicles, the second-highest sales tally for the company in a single month. Maruti sold a record 85,669 vehicles in March.
The announcement of higher sales pushed Maruti shares up Rs103.6 (£1.3/$2.1) or 7.21 per cent to Rs1,540.25 (£19/$31.4) in mid-afternoon trade.
In July, the company reported a first-quarter net profit growth of 25 per cent to Rs5.83bn (£74m/$120m) - its best performance in the last six quarters - as domestic and export demand for its cars surged.
Demand for vehicles fell in India last year due to the global downturn, but lower interest rates and government stimulus packages have boosted demand.
Maruti has the highest share of the Indian car market although its dominance has been reduced in the past decade with the entry of global car giants.
Also yesterday, Hyundai Motor India, the country’s second-largest carmaker reported total sales grew 10.7 per cent in August to 49,521 vehicles. Exports grew 8.74 per cent to 25,120 cars.
"We are entering the festival season, strong sales should boost the industry," said Arvind Saxena, Hyundai Motor's senior sales vice-president.
India's religious festival season runs from October to the end of November and is a traditional time of increased purchases and gift-giving.
The strongest domestic growth is in the small car segment. In the last financial year to March, small cars accounted for 73 per cent of the 1.2 million passenger cars sold.
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