New Delhi / Bloomberg
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Renault SA paced India’s biggest gain in passenger vehicle sales in five months, as new compact SUVs, hatchbacks and minicars drew buyers to their showrooms.
Deliveries of passenger vehicles, including sport utility vehicles and vans, climbed 11 percent to 242,060 units last month, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said in New Delhi on Monday. Market leader Maruti’s sales rose 16 percent, Hyundai’s deliveries gained 9.7 percent and Renault’s more than tripled.
Automakers in Asia’s third-biggest auto market are introducing new models in the fast-growing small SUV and hatchback segments to lure buyers. Maruti entered the compact SUV market with the Vitara Brezza in March and Tata Motors Ltd. introduced its Tiago hatchback in early April. Renault’s Kwid minicar, introduced in May last year, was the only model in its segment that posted a growth in sales.
Sentiment among rural buyers may improve after a forecast for above-normal rainfall during the annual June-to-September monsoon season, according to Mathur. Buyers in rural India purchase about 35 percent of cars, SUVs and vans sold in the country.
Sales of cars gained for the first time in four months and SUV deliveries rose at the fastest pace since November 2012, Vishnu Mathur, director general of the group, said at a press briefing in New Delhi. Deliveries of two-wheelers including motorcycles increased 21 percent last month, the biggest gain since September 2014, as demand rose during the country’s wedding season, Mathur said.
SUV sales last month climbed 43 percent to 62,170 units. Hyundai’s deliveries in the segment jumped to 7,926 units from 127 units a year earlier, driven by the Creta model introduced in July last year. Maruti’s SUV sales more than tripled to 16,044 units.