India's carmakers show mixed sales trend in December 2012
AFPMUMBAI -- Some of India's auto giants reported on Tuesday a modest increase and some a drop in sales of new cars for the month of December, despite recent festive discounts and new models launched.
January 3, 2013, 12:27 am TWN
Tata Motors, India's leading vehicle maker, showed a 51-percent year-on-year drop in sales at 14,185 units, compared to 28,916 the same time last year.
The Indian unit of Hyundai Motor, the country's second-largest carmaker, said its sales in December slid 2.5 percent to 47,833 cars from a year earlier.
But Ford's India sales grew 9 percent to 6,517 vehicles in December while exports more than doubled to a record 4,382 cars from a year earlier.
India's largest passenger carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, has yet to report sales data for December.
India has been one of the world's fastest-growing car markets in recent years and global automakers raced to set up factories to supply local demand.
But purchases slowed sharply in 2012 as consumers grew wary of committing to big-ticket items due to the economic slowdown, costlier auto loans and high fuel costs.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers last year slashed its car sales growth forecast, for the financial year to March 2013, to between 1 and 3 percent from an earlier 9 to 11 percent forecast.
India's economic growth eased to 5.3 percent year-on-year in the July to September quarter, extending a prolonged downturn, while interest rates remain high as the central bank seeks to tame stubbornly high inflation.