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Old 11th August 2008, 20:10   #1
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Default What A Bumpy Ride?

Source Financial Express 11 Aug 2008
High interest rates have pushed passenger cars to a slow and bumpy lane this year. To steer ahead, auto majors have launched new models, and stepped up efforts to bring still newer offerings. But high inflation and the consequent high rates have been holding prospective buyers from shelling out big bucks on their dream wheels. This was evident from a significant drop in sales, on a sequential basis, in the first half of this calendar year. By June, overall passenger car sales were down 12.43% from January. The respective figures are 99,738 units against 1,13,899 units.
Despite the robust demand for Swift Dzire, launched end-March, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s largest passenger car maker, saw a dip of 9.98% in domestic sales, at 48,935 units in June compared to 54,366 units in January. Similar was the fate of Hyundai
Motor India Ltd, India’s second largest passenger car maker. Despite the runaway success of the i10, launched towards the end of last year, turned in sales that were 9.95% less, at 21,877 units, in June compared to 24,296 units in January.
The third largest player, Tata Motors, too had a new variant of Indigo to cheer up buyers. But the falling sales of its hatchback, Indica, brought down the June figures to 13,307 units, a 12.8% descent from January’s 15,261 units.
The decline was the worst at Honda Siel Car India Ltd, which had been hit hard by two factors during the first half: the partial closure of its plant as well as the absence of Honda Accord from the premium car segment after its phase-out in December. Sales of Honda Siel went down by 40.8% to a mere 4,438 units in June from 7,498 units in January. However, with the launch of a new eighth-generation Accord, the company managed to lift its absolute numbers from a low of 3,128 units in April to 4,438 units in June, a growth of 41.8%.
The slump in sales has been the same even for General Motor India, with the company registering a decline of 24.9% at 3,024 units in June, against 4,030 units in January.
But two companies that have built upon their January numbers were Ford India and Fiat India. Both registered healthy double-digit growth, thanks to their smaller base and new products. While sales of Ford India went up by 36.6% to 3,071 units in June against 2,247 units in January, Fiat India registered a growth...
Comments by Yours Truly
That was waiting to happen. Could'nt have happened at a worst time when all the signals were negative. The high crude oil prices reaching for the sky, the high interest rates going through the roof and the added advantage(read "dis") or the next nail in the coffin with the Rs 15,000 extra for a car with its engine above 1500cc but below 2000cc and Rs 20,000 extra for a car with 2000cc plus engines.

The crude oil prices having eased at below $116 per barrel and the oncoming festive season should see better days saleswise.

Last edited by Technocrat : 11th August 2008 at 20:23. Reason: Only Two smilies per post allowed
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