Domestic car sales grow slowest in 24 months in May

"Issues like higher interest rates, non-availability of finance, rising fuel prices and higher prices of vehicles contributed to the decline in sales. The sentiment in the market is not very positive and next month, we expect this to reflect in the sales numbers,” SIAM senior director Sugato Sen said

New Delhi: Domestic passenger car sales posted the slowest growth in 24 months in May this year at 7% as rising fuel prices and interest rates discouraged customers from new purchases, reports PTI.

According to figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) today, car sales in the country stood at 1,58,817 units in May, 2011, as against 1,48,425 units in the same month last year.

“This is the slowest growth rate since May 2009, when the increase was just 2.77%,” SIAM senior director Sugato Sen told reporters here.

The last time that car sales grew by just single digit was in June 2009, at 8.23%, and since then, the industry has been witnessing healthy double-digit growth, he added.

“In retail sales, there are some bottlenecks like higher interest rates, non-availability of finance, rising fuel prices and higher prices of vehicles. The sentiment in the market is not very positive and next month, we expect this to reflect in the sales numbers,” Mr Sen said.

Under these circumstances, he said, it is unlikely that the passenger car sales forecast for the fiscal would be achieved.

“... But we have not reviewed it yet. The review will be done next month when we will complete the first quarter of this fiscal,” Mr Sen added.

SIAM had projected a growth of 16%-18% in passenger car sales for the 2011-12 fiscal, while the overall industry was expected to grow by 12.15%.

“One of the biggest worries is that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has changed the specification of non-banking finance companies (NBFCs). Now NBFCs cannot provide loans for purchasing non-transport vehicles, which are personal vehicles. They won’t get the re-finance from banks. This will hurt the industry severely,” he said.

During the month, Maruti Suzuki India posted just a 0.99% increase in domestic car sales to 76,874 units, while that of rival Hyundai Motor India was 14.18% at 31,001. Tata Motors saw a decline of 12.56% in sales to 16,280 units during the month.

According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales, however, increased by 14.49% last month to 10,72,287 units from 9,36,555 units in May, 2010.

Motorcycle sales grew by 14.33% during the month to 8,29,255 units from 7,25,311 units in the corresponding month last year.

Hero Honda continued its impressive performance with a 13.54% increase in sales to 4,55,662 units. Rival Bajaj Auto also posted a 13.87% increase to 2,18,321 units during the month, while Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales grow by 10.2% to 60,733 units.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its motorcycle sales increase by 5.42% to 55,154 units during the month.

The scooters segment witnessed a growth of 11.21% in sales during May this year to 1,75,160 units from 1,57,509 units in the same month last year.

HMSI’s scooter sales during the month were down 2.56% to 75,012 units, while that of TVS Motor Co grew by 17.13% at 35,803 units. Hero Honda’s scooter sales during the month grew by 24.10% to 29,460 units.

Three-wheeler sales during May grew by 8.6% to 35,991 units, as against 33,140 in the same month last year.

Sales of commercial vehicles (CVs) jumped by 16.16% to 56,314 units from 48,479 units in the year-ago period.

“In the CV segment, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) are having good growth. But medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs) have slowed down and this is a worry area, as it shows slowing down of the economy,” Mr Sen said.

Light commercial vehicles sales grew by 22.9% to 31,451 units from 25,590 units last year. M&HCV sales stood at 24,863 units as against 22,889 units in May last year, up 8.62%.

Total sales of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 13.40% to 13,70,786 units in May, as against 12,08,820 units in the same month last year, it added.

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Barista Lavazza and Visa tie up for cash withdrawal

Visa debit cardholders can withdraw an amount of up to Rs1,000 in a day at any Barista Lavazza outlet

Restaurant chain Barista Lavazza said it has tied-up with Visa to launch a new facility at its outlets which will enable customers to withdraw money.

"As per Reserve Bank of India guidelines, Visa debit cardholders can withdraw an amount of up to Rs1,000 in a day at any Barista Lavazza outlet," the company said in a statement.

This will enable all Visa debit cardholders to not only pay for their coffee and snacks but also withdraw cash at over 170 outlets located across the country, it added.

There will be no charges levied on the card-holder for the cash withdrawal transaction.

"Further, cardholders are not obliged to make a purchase to get cash. The service is currently rolled out in Delhi NCR and Mumbai. It will be extended to other parts of the country over the next few weeks," the statement said.

As part of this association, Barista Lavazza is also offering up to 30% discounts on customised meal deals to all Visa Debit cardholders.

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Edelweiss Mutual Fund collects over Rs107 crore under Fixed Maturity Plan-91 days-Series 1

Edelweiss Fixed Maturity Plan-91 days-Series 1 will mature on 5 September 2011

Edelweiss Mutual Fund said it has collected over Rs107 crore during the new fund offer period of its maiden FMP viz., Edelweiss Fixed Maturity Plan-91 days-Series 1. The scheme will mature on 5 September 2011 and it is benchmarked against the CRISIL Liquid Fund Index, a company statement said.

The scheme, which closed on 6 June 2011, will under normal market conditions generate regular income through investments in debt and money market instruments maturing on or before the maturity date of the scheme. Income may also be generated through the amortisation of discount on debt instruments, or the purchase and sale of securities in the underlying portfolio, the release said.

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