June car sales rise; SIAM lowers FY13 forecast
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday slightly lowered its car sales growth forecast for the year ending next March, as higher costs and slower economic expansion impinge on demand.
But SIAM hoped demand would revive later in the year.
Car sales for the current fiscal year are expected to rise 9-11 percent, the group said, lower than the 10-12 percent growth it had forecast in April.
Car makers are struggling to achieve double-digit sales growth targeted by the industry as Asia's third-largest economy grows at its slowest pace in nine years, hurting a sector that has been one of the best performers over the past decade.
The budget raised factory gate duty on cars from April 1, pushing up prices, although it did not impose a feared tax on diesel vehicles. Sales of diesel cars have soared in recent months, thanks to government subsidies that make the fuel around 50 percent cheaper than petrol.
Many local carmakers, including Maruti Suzuki(MRTI.NS), Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) and Toyota Motor's (7203.T) Indian unit have temporarily reduced production in the last few weeks as the slowdown began to bite.
In June, companies sold 155,763 cars, an annual growth of 8.3 percent, but the lowest sales volume since October last year. For the quarter ended June, sales were up just 5.2 percent, far lower than the new annual forecast range.
Industry executives defended the new sales forecast.
"Fuel prices have come down moderately, interest rates are not going up, the government is under tremendous pressure to come up with reforms, we think it is kind of reasonable," SIAM President S. Sandilya told reporters.
Vishnu Mathur, director-general of the industry body, said he expected demand to revive during the festive season that begins in September and peaks in November after Diwali.
The industry body lowered its sales forecast for trucks and buses, expecting it to rise 6-8 percent over the current fiscal year, lower than the 9-11 percent it had predicted in April. It maintained its sales growth forecast of 11-13 percent for two-wheelers.
Breakneck domestic car sales growth over the past few years has attracted the who's who of the world's biggest car makers, including Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Volkswagen AG to spend billions of dollars setting up factories in the country.
But demand for cars fell for the first time in three years last July and slumped by the most in over a decade in October as high interest rates and rising fuel costs deterred buyers, typically reliant on loans for purchases.
Leading automobile stocks were trading positive. Top carmaker Maruti Suzuki was up 1.2 percent, Mahindra & Mahindra was up 0.6 percent, while Tata Motors gained 2.4 percent in a broader market that was up 0.6 percent.
(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; Writing by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Ron Popeski)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- UPDATE 2-Concordia finally heads for scrapyard after massive salvage operation
- Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high |
- Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud case |
- UPDATE 3-Seven arrested internationally in $1.6 million StubHub fraud
- UPDATE 3-Ex-Jefferies trader gets 2 years in prison in fraud case
India is set to offer Nepal a landmark pact to help develop its huge hydro-electric power potential as the South Asian giant takes another step to re-assert influence among smaller neighbours where China has been forging closer ties. Full Article
Jet Airways chairman says looking to restructure debts, talking to bankers Full Article
Honda's India unit to account for 25 pct of Asia Pacific sales by March 2017 - exec Full Article