Indian Auto Makers Show Strong Sales in January

GM India jumped 139%, Tata increased 77%, Hyundai Motor India was up 41.6%, Maruti Suzuki India increased 33.3%

Indian vehicle sales rose sharply in January due to robust demand, company data showed on Feb. 1, pointing to a strengthening economy that international carmakers are pushing to access.

Maruti Suzuki India said sales rose 33.3% to a record 95,649 vehicles in January, from a year earlier, aided by strong domestic and overseas sales. "This is the highest-ever number of cars sold in a month," a spokesman for Maruti Suzuki said, beating a previous record of 87,809 vehicles sold in November 2009.

Its passenger car sales rose 21.2% to 80,952 units. Maruti sold 14,562 cars overseas, a three-fold jump in demand over last year.

Hyundai Motor India announced monthly sales of 52,635 vehicles in January, up 41.6% from a year earlier. "We expect the momentum to continue with the help of the stimulus packages from the government," said Arvind Saxena, director with Hyundai Motors India.

Hyundai's domestic sales rose to a 12-year high of 29,601, data showed.

General Motors India showed record growth, led by its flagship Chevrolet brand, as sales jumped 139% in January, against the same period last year.

GM India said its sales totaled 9,421 vehicles -- its highest in a month -- against 3,937 last year. The Chevrolet Spark sold 3,477 units and 2,825 units of the Chevrolet Beat, launched recently in India.

Tata Motors said its total sales, including commercial vehicles, jumped 77% to 65,478 vehicles in January, over levels a year earlier. Tata's local passenger car sales touched a record 28,547 vehicles. The world's cheapest car, the Tata Nano, sold 4,001 units in January.

Most analysts forecast Indian auto makers to register 12-15% growth in passenger car sales for financial year ending March.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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