New Delhi/Chennai, April 1 (IANS) Despite high fuel and interest costs, automobile manufacturers closed 2014-15 on a positive note with major companies reporting sales growth during the fiscal ended March 31.
Total sales of India's largest passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki grew by 11.9 in 2014-15 and stood at 1,292,415 units from 1,155,041 units sold in the previous fiscal.
The company's domestic sales during the year grew at 11.1 percent at 1,170,702 units from 1,053,689 units in 2013-14.
Exports during the period under review zoomed by 20.1 percent at 121,713 units from 101,352 units shipped out in 2013-14.
However, for the month of March, the company's total sales decreased by 1.6 percent at 111,555 units from 113,350 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.
Chennai-based automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor's (HMIL) overall sales including exports grew by 10.62 percent and stood at 420,668 units from 380,253 units sold in the previous fiscal.
However, for the month of March, the company's total sales decreased by 3.8 percent at 49,740 units from 51,708 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.
According to the company, 2015 outlook seems challenging due to low traction in the market with weak delivery on macro-economic parameters and on customer's sentiments.
"We are hopeful that an environment will be created to bring in investment and create employment that will give the required thrust to grow the industry," said Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Hyundai Motor India.
Indian automobile major Tata Motors' cumulative sales including exports for the last fiscal were lower by 11 percent at 502,281 units sold from an off-take of 566,695 vehicles in 2013-14.
The company's total commercial and passenger vehicles sales including exports for March grew at three percent at 52,479 units sold from 51,184 vehicles off-take during the corresponding month of 2014.
Another domestic automobile major, Mahindra and Mahindra's total sales for 2014-15 declined by eight percent and stood at 464,848 units from 507,176 units sold in the previous fiscal.
For the month of March, the company's total sales decreased by 12 percent at 45,212 units from 51,636 units sold in the corresponding month of 2014.
The company said that it expects the automobile industry to perform better during the current fiscal year.
"With factors such as expectation of normal monsoon, settling down of petrol and diesel prices and the likely softening of interest rates, we expect the auto industry to perform better in FY2016," said Pravin Shah, chief executive, automotive division, Mahindra and Mahindra.
Commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland closed the full fiscal last year (2014-15), with a 17 percent growth in sales which stood at 104,902 units up from 89,337 units sold in the year 2013-14.
For last month the company's sales grew 24 percent as compared to last year's corresponding period and stood at 12,754 units from 10,281 units sold in March 2014.
Indo-American car maker Ford India's total sales in 2014-15 grew 18 percent to 156,841 vehicles from 132,540 vehicles in the previous financial year (2013-14).
"With the economic recovery being slower than anticipated and a high interest rate and inflation environment, customers continue to defer their discretionary spends," said Anurag Mehrotra, executive director, marketing, sales and service, Ford India.
Two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp's sales for 2014-15 increased by 6.2 percent and stood at 6,631,826 units from 6,245,960 units sold in the previous fiscal.
According to the company, in fiscal 2014-15 the industry continued to remain sluggish due to the overall market sentiments and the slowing rural economy.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's logged 20 percent sales growth during 2014-15.
The company sold 4,452,010 units during the last fiscal -- up from 3,721,942 units sold during the corresponding period of the previous year.