February sales in automobiles showed a year-on-year surge on Monday, but the industry was quick to suggest that the market was still tough. Some of the positive data is linked to a low base last year, when some purchases were deferred.
Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India's sales in February glowed at 18.7 per cent and 45.3 per cent respectively. But Hyundai refused to get excited, saying March sales would be flat.
Arvind Saxena, senior vice-president, marketing, at Hyundai said the overall market was challenging and "not much should be read into the February growth as last year in February the budget was to be announced and a substantial amount of sales
were deferred till March."
"We expect a fairly flat sales growth curve for the industry for the first quarter ending March, 2009," he added.
Motorcycle leader Hero Honda which had in the recent months outperformed the industry as a whole, repeated its performance growing by 24 per cent despite operating on a high base. Arch rivals Bajaj Auto however, failed to return to positive territory, with sales declining by 17 per cent.
"Our new launches, including Passion Pro Power Start in particular, have been driving strong volumes across geographies, further consolidating our more than 56 per cent share in the domestic motorcycle market,' said Anil Dua, senior vice-president, marketing, at Hero Honda Motors Ltd.