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He said negative sentiments that were affecting car sales have now worn off and February sales were to a large extent continuation of the positive sentiments that were brought when the new government came to power. “March sales should be better than February as it is usually a month of good sales for the industry,” Sen said, adding different measures announced in the Budget to boost the economy should increase demand of vehicles across all segments. Also Read - Maruti Suzuki India Resumes Operations at Gurugram Plant Amid Lockdown
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He said steps like more allocation for employment under MNREGA, which will lead to more income in rural areas could help boost demand of two-wheelers, especially motorcycles which saw a decline in February, and light commercial vehicles.
In February, country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India saw its domestic sales grow by 7.25 per cent to 90,728 units as against 84,595 units in the same month last year. Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales grew by 9.7 per cent to 37,163 units as compared to 33,875 units in February last year. Honda Cars India saw its sales grew by 4.05 per cent to 15,065 units as against 14,478 units last year. Homegrown Tata Motors sales grew by 30.79 per cent to 11,805 units from 9,026 units in the year-ago month.
Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its sales decline by 5.13 per cent to 17,805 units as against 18,768 units in February last year. During the month, total two-wheeler sales were down by 0.99 per cent to 12,08,084 units from 12,20,141 units in the same period a year ago.
According to SIAM, motorcycle sales in last month were down by 8.22 per cent to 7,74,122 units from 8,43,436 units in the same month previous year. Sen said poor harvest and drying up of funds under MNREGA had impacted demand of motorcycles in rural areas. Motorcycle market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its bike sales decline by 7.68 per cent to 4,07,809 units as against 4,41,716 units in the same month last year.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) also witnessed a decline of 2.32 per cent in its motorcycle sales at 1,39,233 units as against 1,42,545 units in the year-ago month. Bajaj Auto's sales dropped by 25.83 per cent to 1,15,840 units as against 1,56,184 units in the same month last year. Overall scooter sales were, however, up 18.78 per cent in February this year at 3,70,527 units as against 3,11,957 units in the same month last year.
Scooter market leader HMSI saw its sales grow by 21.99 per cent to 2,08,573 units last month as against 1,70,974 units in February 2014. Hero MotoCorp's scooter sales were also up 26.88 per cent to 67,442 units as against 53,153 units in February last year, Chennai-based TVS Motor Co also posted a growth of 34.16 per cent growth at 54,655 units as compared to 40,737 units in the same month last year.
Total sales of commercial vehicles were up 10.13 per cent to 52,843 units from 47,982 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said. Total sale of vehicles across categories registered a growth of 0.15 per cent to 15,26,125 units in February 2015 as against 15,23,823 units in the same month last year, it added.