Auto industry posts 30.7% growth in domestic sales in Jan 2018: SIAM

However, sales of compact SUVs and utility vehicles saw a healthy growth in the month at 85,850 units against 62,263 units in January a year ago, growing by 38%. The industry sold only 15,363 vans last month, compared to 16,530 vans in the same month past year, posting negative sales of 1.3 per cent and 7.1 per cent in passenger cars and vans, respectively. Vehicle sales, however, declined 1.25 per cent because of the change in consumer preference.

As per the data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), 184,264 passenger cars were sold in January, down from 186,596 in the corresponding month of 2017.

Overall, the passenger vehicles segment - which includes cars, SUVs and vans - saw a growth of almost 8% in the month.

The vehicle segment is going through flat sales with the entry level segment not witnessing new model launches while customer preference has been shifting towards crossovers and compact SUVs, he added. Medium and heavy commercial vehicles grew by 10.45 per cent and LCVs grew by 23.17 per cent in April-January 2018 over the same period previous year.

"The overall growth in the passenger vehicle sales in January is as per expectations and is also a reflection of the mood ahead of the Auto Expo", SIAM director general Vishnu Mathur said, adding that utility vehicles continue to be a growth driver.

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In January, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 4.05 per cent in its domestic passenger vehicle sales at 139,189 units.

Rival Hyundai Motor India saw a growth of 8.31 per cent at 45,508 units.

Motorcycle sales increased by 28.64% to 1,054,062 units as sales of economy and executive segment offerings in the rural markets picked up due to improvement in the rural economy after two consecutive years of good monsoon and low base effect.

However, the off-take of other sub-segments of passenger vehicle category such as utility vehicles edged higher by 37.88 per cent during the month to 85,850 units. Within the two-wheeler segment, scooter, motorcycles and mopeds grew by 48.3 per cent, 28.6 per cent, and 10 per cent, respectively, in the same month a year ago.

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