Car sales in India declined 1.03 per cent in September, after posting four months of consecutive growth, as customers postponed purchases during the month on account of festival season beginning in October.
According to the data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in September this year stood at 1,54,882 units as compared to 1,56,494 units in the same month of 2013.
"We think people have postponed their buys from September to October. That's the only reason we can think of regarding this marginal decline in car sales," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters here.
He added that with major festivals lined up in October, the car sales are expected to grow during the month.
"Definitely the sentiment is better this festival season.
Companies are hoping that they will see better sales this October as compared to the same month last year," Mathur said.
Car sales in the country had grown from May to August this year after a prolonged slump which lasted over two years.
"Early signs of revival of demand are there but at the same time the economic environment remains very challenging...
fundamentals of the economy have to improve," Mathur said.
Consumer sentiment, however, has improved significantly, he added.
In September, market leader Maruti Suzuki India had posted a growth of 3.13 per cent in domestic sales at 81,447 units as against 78,975 units in the same month last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India saw its sales grow by 14.14 per cent to 34,906 units as compared to 30,580 units in the same month last year.
Honda Cars India witnessed a growth of 6.06 per cent in domestic sales at 9,600 units as against 10,220 units in the year-ago month.
Homegrown auto major Tata Motors' sales were flat at 9,765 units as against 9,766 units in September 2013, while utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra's sales during the month rose by 9.03 per cent to 19,647 units as against 18,019 units last year.
Motorcycle sales last month climbed 19.34 per cent to 10,56,509 units from 8,85,309 units a year earlier, according to SIAM data.
Market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its sales grow 29.41 per cent to 5,13,886 units as against 3,97,095 units in the same month last year.
Rival Bajaj Auto posted sale of 1,99,251 units as against 2,02,310 units last year, down 1.51 per cent.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) posted a growth of 18.95 per cent at 1,79,472 units as against 1,50,872 units in September 2103.
According to SIAM, the total scooter sales in September 2014 were at 4,38,470 units as compared to 3,17,750 units in the same month last year, up 37.99 per cent.
Scooter market leader Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India posted a growth of 49.67 per cent at 2,41,128 units as against 1,61,105 units in the year-ago month.
Hero MotoCorp saw its scooter sales go up by 14.15 per cent to 66,996 units as against 58,691 units last year.
Chennai-based TVS Motor Co saw its scooter sales zoom by 64.85 per cent to 68,091 units as against 41,304 units last year.
The total two-wheeler sales in September rose 23.81 per cent to 15,67,351 units.
Sales of commercial vehicles rose 8.59 per cent to 56,140 units in September, SIAM said.
"CV sales have posted a positive growth after 16 months as fleet owners have started buying trucks anticipating improved economic activity," Mathur said.
He added that with activities taking place again in sectors like mining and infrastructure, the segment is witnessing some much needed growth.
Total sales of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 20.44 per cent to 19,04,007 units from 15,80,933 units in September 2013, SIAM said.