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New Year brings smile to car-makers, sales rise in Jan

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Major car makers in the country, including , and , posted an increase in sales during January, indicating buoyancy in the auto market in the new year after prolonged sluggishness.

The country's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India witnessed a turnaround in monthly sales after seven consecutive months of decline with a 2.42% rise in domestic sales to 88,377 units last month from 86,285 units in January last year.

Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) said its sales grew by 11.85% in January to 33,900 units from 30,306 units in the same month last year. Tata Motors also reported a 14.75% increase in domestic passenger vehicles sales to 34,669 units in January from 30,212 units in the same month last year.

"The year seems to have started on a positive note, domestic sales are showing some buoyancy. But we will have to cautiously watch how this momentum picks up in the months ahead," HMIL Director Marketing and Sales Arvind Saxena said.

Striking a cautious note, MSI Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) said: "The fundamental weakness in the market still remains. The problems of high interest rates and fuel prices persist and there is also a huge disparity in the demand for petrol and diesel vehicles."

As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers data, domestic passenger sales grew by 4.24% in 2011 to 19,46,373 units from 18,67,246 units in 2010.

Other companies, such as (TKM) and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), also reported good growth during January this year.

M&M posted a 19.56% rise in domestic sales to 41,369 units during the month from 34,601 units in the year-ago period.

TKM reported an 89.34% increase in sales to 17,395 units in January, driven by robust demand for its latest 'Etios' and 'Liva' models.

"It's been a good start to the year with a robust growth. We are happy with the response to the Etios series, the new Innova and the new Fortuner," TKM Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh said.

Ford India, on the other hand, reported a 2.99% decline in total sales to 10,789 units during January.

Similarly, General Motors India posted a 17.46% decline in sales to 8,241 units for January, as against 9,984 units in the same month last year.

In the two-wheeler segment, market leader Hero MotoCorp today reported its highest-ever sales of 5,20,272 units for January, a 11.52% jump vis-a-vis the same month last year.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co said its domestic two-wheeler sales registered a growth of 7.58% to 1,53,014 units from 1,42,227 units last year.

In addition, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India today reported a 46.66% growth in total sales to 1,89,353 units for January.

Furthermore, India Yamaha Motor reported domestic sales of 26,300 units during the month, as against 21,974 units in the same month last year, translating into a 19.69% increase.

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