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India's top carmaker Maruti reports sales up 28%

01 april 2011, 13:14
Photo courtesy of article.wn.com
Photo courtesy of article.wn.com
India's top carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Friday reported car sales soared 28.2 percent in March, driven by a burgeoning, affluent middle class, AFP reports.

Total sales rose to 121,952 cars in March from 95,123 a year earlier, said Japanese-owned Maruti, which dominates the Indian market with a 45-percent share.

Passenger and commercial vehicle sales have been on the rise as India recovers rapidly from the global downturn and incomes of the country's middle class grow.

The company said it sold 1.27 million vehicles during fiscal year 2010-11, a jump of 24.8 percent over the previous year.

In 2011, the company introduced the Suzuki Kizashi, India’s first luxury sports sedan after it had launched the new WagonR followed by a revamped version of its best-selling Alto car.

TVS Motor, India's third largest maker of motorcycles and scooters, said its total March sales rose 27 percent to 186,781 units, from a year earlier.

India's car makers have raised the prices of their vehicles recently to offset increased prices of steel and rubber components.

But despite the increases, analysts see sales remaining strong.

Car sales for the fiscal year to March 31 are estimated to have grown by at least 25 percent -- far higher than an initial forecast of 12-13 percent growth, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

With just one in 10 households in urban areas owning a car and one in 50 in rural areas, India remains an under-penetrated, alluring market, drawing global manufacturers from General Motors to Ford and Renault.

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