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All major manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors, Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto registered healthy jumps, which were further fuelled by the low-base effect of 2008 due to the slowdown in the domestic auto market
The Indian automobile industry recorded an impressive 68% growth in sales in December last year, thereby continuing with the push it had received from two stimulus packages since 2008-end and successfully beating the year-end blues, reports PTI.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, total vehicle sales in the country rose to an astonishing 10,00,500 units last month against 5,97,241 units in the year-ago period.
All major manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Tata Motors, Hero Honda and Bajaj Auto, registered healthy jumps, which were further fuelled by the low-base effect of 2008 due to the slowdown in the domestic auto market.
Thanks to the late surge in sales towards the second half of the year, total domestic automobile sales in year 2009 grew by 16.9% to 1,13,20,918 units compared to 96,82,113 units in 2008.
"In fact in the passenger vehicle segment, India was the third highest growing market in the world after China and Germany in 2009," SIAM president Pawan Goenka told reporters at the 10th Auto Expo.
While India's passenger vehicle sales were up 18%, China's 42% growth was propelled by a tax cut on cars announced in January 2009, he said. Germany saw 25% growth buoyed by the incentives given for buying new vehicles in exchange of old ones. Mr Goenka said sales in 2009 were also boosted by new launches totalling 11, the highest in recent years.
Passenger car sales stood at 1,15,268 units in December, the ninth straight month of growth, compared to 82,174 units in the same month a year ago, up 40.3%.
Motorcycle sales rose by 76.7% to 5,92,596 units in the month from 3,35,370 units in December 2008, it added.
Carrying forward the upward march that began in July, sale of commercial vehicles in the country soared by nearly three-fold to 48,614 units.
In the passenger car segment, sales of market leader Maruti Suzuki increased by 35.4% to 62,653 units in December 2009 from 46,262 units in the year-ago period. The country's second largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India registered 42.6% growth at 22,252 units compared with 15,600 units in the corresponding month of 2008, SIAM said. Tata Motors' sales went up to 12,944 units from 8,422 units in December 2008, a jump of 53.7%.
In the motorcycle segment, market leader Hero Honda's sales jumped by 78.7% to 3,51,953 units in December 2009 compared to 1,96,914 units in the year-ago month. Rival Bajaj Auto's sales soared by over two-fold to 1,46,262 units. Chennai-based TVS Motor Company registered a growth of 43.3% at 34,141 units in December. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales increasing by 29.9% to 40,241 units from 30,978 units in the year-ago period.
SIAM said that total two-wheeler sales in December last year surged by 66.6% to 7,67,796 units from 4,60,852 units in the corresponding month in 2008.
In the scooter segment, sales jumped by 41.4% to 1,27,597 units against 90,247 units a year ago, SIAM said. HMSI's sales were up by 24.7% at 70,048 units against 56,186 units in the same month in the previous year. SIAM said TVS Motor's scooter sales also increased by 43.9% at 20,735 units compared to 14,413 units in the same month in 2008. Hero Honda's scooter sales were up 30.1% at 16,081 units as against 12,363 units in the year-ago period.
Three-wheeler sales during December were up by 83.67% at 34,993 units compared with 19,052 units, it added.
Light commercial vehicle sales were up by over two-fold to 24,577 units against 10,997 units in the year-ago period. Medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales rose by over three-fold to 24,037 units compared to 6,900 units in the same month in the previous year.
M&M has lost production of around 5% since October due to supply constraints, these shortages have arisen from various kinds of components
India's largest utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd said on Friday that it has suffered a production loss of around 5% due to supply constraints of components, reports PTI.
"Our company has lost production of around 5% since October due to supply constraints. The supply shortage has come from various kinds of components," Mahindra & Mahindra president for automotive sector, Pawan Goenka, told reporters at the 10th Auto Expo.
He said that the industry expects supply constraints to continue for a few more months. "This supply shortage is because of capacity constraints among auto-component makers. Nobody had expected this kind of big recovery in auto sales and this has led to this problem as suppliers had not invested to deal with this kind of volume increase," he said.
Mr Goenka said that he expects a recovery from the constraint by April this year once suppliers are able to ramp up capacity.
RIL will file a criminal complaint against a TV channel which alleged that the Ambani brothers had a role to play in the accidental death of the former AP chief minister. The AP incident has once again raised questions about the credibility and responsibility of the media.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has said that it will file a criminal complaint against TV5 channel and has also asked the Union and Andhra Pradesh (AP) governments to initiate an immediate investigation into the incident.
On Thursday, a number of RIL outlets were ransacked following a news report on local channel TV5 which alleged that the Ambani brothers had a role in the accidental death of AP chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy that shook the nation last year.
According to a PTI report, the AP police have already begun a probe and are collecting evidence, including video tapes of the news footage beamed by TV5 that alleged that the Ambani brothers were behind the helicopter crash in which Mr Reddy was killed on 2 September 2009.
In a release, RIL said, “We are shocked and outraged at the false, malicious, motivated and libellous news on TV5 channel concerning the fatal mishap of Shri YS Rajasekhara Reddy's helicopter. We condemn, rebut and reject the allegation with the contempt it deserves. It is the dirty handiwork of our business rivals in cahoots with TV5."
Speaking about the attacks on its outlets, a spokesperson of RIL said, “This (the dirty handiwork of its business rivals) is also evident from the well-coordinated attacks on RIL's personnel and establishments in Andhra Pradesh within minutes of the telecast by TV5. The channel has thrown all journalistic norms to the winds to malign the reputation of RIL, which has made significant investments in Andhra Pradesh to promote the development of the state and the nation."
According to a PTI report, the Anil Ambani-led Reliance group said: "A malicious and criminal disinformation campaign has been engaged into by our corporate rivals leading to substantial loss and damage to our several offices and businesses of Reliance ADA Group in Andhra Pradesh yesterday evening. We are shocked to see our corporate rivals stooping down to new levels of desperation by engaging in such imaginative and baseless rumour-mongering."
Telugu channel TV5 first produced a report based on an unsubstantiated news report published by a little-known website exiledonline.com. Following this, a couple of other Telugu news channels also started airing the same news.
The website in question, exiledonline.com (and especially an author named Mark Ames) has been writing about Lawrence (Larry) Summers, the director of the US National Economic Council since the past few years. Before joining the Obama administration, Mr Summers was working on the international advisory board of RIL.
The writer, Mr Ames, took a dig at Reliance. One of Mr Ames' articles called Mukesh Ambani as "Larry Summers's Ex-Boss, a Billionaire with a Blood Feud". While targeting Mr Summers, the writer Mark Ames and the little-known website had been attacking the Ambani family for their wealth.
In one of his articles, Mr Ames wrote: "Mukesh has what Larry wants—money and power; and Larry has what Mukesh wants—the connections in the world’s most powerful economy to 'gain a leg up on his rivals'. And if you think that Larry isn’t the kinda guy who’d befriend sleazy Third World oligarchs involved in jaw-dropping murder mysteries, then folks, you better stick around for more of this series. After all, Summers is the guy who once described the architect of the Russian privatisation scam as 'my dear friend'.”
The site exiledonline.com has since become inaccessible and its home page is giving a message "Error establishing a database connection".