Rising for the 14th straight month, car sales in the country surged by 12.87 per cent in December as customers were induced by the auto industry into buying new vehicles by offering record discounts.
According to the data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic car sales in December stood at 1,72,671 units compared with 1,52,986 units in December 2014.
Overall passenger vehicle sales during the month grew by 10.46 per cent to 2,30,960 units as against 2,09,086 units in the year-ago period.
"December is always a difficult month for us. But this time, I think the inducement from the car manufacturers in terms of discounts to a large extent has helped in sales growth during the month," SIAM Deputy Director General Sugato Sen told reporters here.
It has turned out to be the best December month ever in terms of passenger car sales, he added.
For the calender year (January to December), car sales grew 9.8 per cent at 20,34,015 units. The overall passenger vehicles grew 7.86 per cent to 27,72,745 units during the year.
"With economy improving, sentiments have also improved.
Also the reduction in interest rates has helped sale grow to some extent during the year," Sen said.
When asked about the sales forecast for passenger vehicles and cars in the remaining part of the fiscal Sen said: "Although we don't give future guidance, but looking at the current situation we expect to grow better than 6-8 per cent.
I think we should be crossing 10 per cent."
During last month, market leader Maruti Suzuki India posted a growth of 13.48 per cent in its passenger vehicles sales at 1,11,333 units. Its car sales rose 11.62 per cent to 91,043 units during the period.
Rival Hyundai Motor India saw its passenger vehicle sales increase by 28.79 per cent to 41,861 units in December, driven by newly launched SUV Creta.
Its passenger car sales jumped 14.4 per cent to 37,101 units during December compared with 32,429 units in the same period of previous year.
Honda Cars India's sales stood at 12,122 units as against 12,308 units in the same month last year, down 1.51 per cent, SIAM said.
Homegrown Tata Motors' domestic car sales were at 6,900 units compared with 9,956 units in the same month previous year, down 30.69 per cent.
Utility vehicles major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its sales rise 1.33 per cent to 17,310 units as against 17,082 units in December 2014.
As per SIAM data, motorcycle sales declined 5.93 per cent to 7,24,807 units last month from 7,70,519 units a year ago.
"Motorcycle sales have not done well. Products like bikes and light commercial vehicles which are dependent on small cities, rural areas and semi urban areas have been down.
Sentiment hasn't picked up in these areas yet," Sen said.
Last month, market leader Hero MotoCorp saw its bike sales decline 8.93 per cent to 3,93,495 units as against 4,32,1213 units in same period of December 2014.
Bajaj Auto saw sales rise 12.53 per cent to 1,20,322 units in December as against 1,06,919 units in the year-ago month, SIAM said.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales decline by 16.77 per cent to 92,280 units as against 1,10,884 units in December last year.
Scooter sales saw a modest growth of 3.12 per cent during the month at 3,86,305 units compared with 3,74,601 units in the same period of previous year.
HMSI saw its scooter sales decline 4.89 per cent at 1,98,260 units as against 2,08,465 units in the corresponding month last year.
Hero MotoCorp sales rose 10.74 per cent to 82,517 units in December as against 74,509 units during the same period of previous year.
Chennai-based TVS Motor saw its scooter sales increase 17.8 per cent at 62,173 units in December as against 52,777 units in the same month last year.
Total sales of two-wheelers declined 3.10 per cent last month to 11,67,633 units as against 12,04,942 units in December, 2014.
Sales of commercial vehicles were up 11.45 per cent to 56,840 units in December 2015, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a marginal decline to 15,02,314 units from 15,04,944 units in December 2014, it added.