Car sales rise in Jan despite excise duty rollback
Defying fears of a meltdown, the domestic passenger car industry got off to a steady start in 2015, following the government's decision to withdraw excise duty concessions, which were in force for much of last year.
Most car firms registered high single-digit or doubledigit growth last month, with market leader Maruti Suzuki India up 9.3%, Hyundai Motor India up 4%, and Honda, Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar rising 16.6%, 18.9% and 15.9%, respectively, over January 2014. Higher sales, however, did not mitigate fears of the industry spiralling into a third consecutive decline in annual sales in 2014-15 due to higher cost and sluggishness in the overall economy.
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"Increased prices on account of the excise duty hike is still impacting the market. We hope the government would reconsider the concessions in the upcoming budget," said N Raja, director, sales, Toyota Kirloskar. "In line with the 'Make in India' campaign, structural reforms for the auto sector are essential."