Car sales in India grew 13.11 per cent to 2,11,402 units in February as customers rushed to buy vehicles fearing rise in prices post the Union Budget 2012-13, to be presented on March 16.
"People are expecting increase in car prices after the Budget as the government may roll back two per cent excise concession given as stimulus during the 2008-9 slowdown," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur told reporters.
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He further said there is also an apprehension in the market that diesel cars may cost more after the Budget as additional taxes may be imposed on them.
"So, the growth witnessed in February was primarily driven by customer's advancing their purchases ahead of the Budget," he said, adding that there were also a lot of discounts being offered, mainly on petrol vehicles.
According to the figures released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday, domestic passenger car sales grew 13.11 per cent to 2,11,402 units in February against 1,86,890 units in the year-ago period.
During February, the country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India sold 94,118 vehicles, a jump of 7.13 per cent, over the same period last year.
Rival Hyundai Motor India's sales grew by 12.78 per cent to 36,658 units, while Tata Motors' sales increased by 5.46 per cent to 28,236 units.
Commenting on the market sentiments, Mathur said, "There has been an improvement as consumers are no longer expecting increase in interest rates."
This is the first time ever that the monthly car sales crossed the two lakh units mark, he added.
According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales in February 2012 increased by 11.96 per cent to 11,44,500 units, from 10,22,226 units in the same period of previous year.
Motorcycle sales in the country during the month grew by 8.01 per cent to 8,38,193 units, from 7,76,005 units in the same month last year.
Market leader Hero MotoCorp witnessed a growth of 9.55 per cent at 4,70,994 units compared to the same month a year ago, SIAM said. Rival Bajaj Auto's sales decreased marginally by 0.59 per cent to 2,03,919 units from the same month last year.
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales going up by 39.05 per cent to 75,110 units. However, TVS Motor Company posted a decline of 6.8 per cent in its sales at 49,067 units compared to year-ago month.