India: New car sales up 4.2% in 2011; December volume up 8.5% image

New car sales in India rose an annual 8.5 per cent in December to 1,59,325 units compared to 1,46,856 units in the same month in 2010, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said on Tuesday.

The figure represents the second straight monthly gain.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki saw sales of its vehicles fall an annual 7 percent in December, while local rivals Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors saw sales rise 26 and 22 percent respectively.

Total two-wheeler sales in December 2011 increased 8.52 per cent to 10,91,982 units from 10,06,289 units in the same period of the previous year. Total sales of commercial vehicles jumped 14.5 per cent to 72,192 units from 63,048 units.
Discounts helped to partially offset weaker demand for cars, sales of which slowed in the second half of the year largely due to high borrowing costs and rising fuel prices.

The industry body has already cut its car sales growth forecast twice this year, slashing it to 2-4 percent in October from its initial forecast of 16 to 18 percent.