More than 27 lakh cars were sold in India in 2015, and nearly half of them were made by Maruti Suzuki, the Economic Times reported. The passenger vehicle industry grew by an annual 8.7%, the highest in four years. The biggest boost came in December, with year-end offers and new model launches pushing sales to grow by 11%. The country’s top 11 manufacturers sold more than 2.3 lakh cars in the last month alone.
The growth was mainly pushed by the two top car sellers in the country – Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. Maruti Suzuki sold a record 14 lakh cars, while Hyundai sold 4.7 lakh of them. Renault more than doubled its sales to more than 10,000 units thanks to the late-year launch of its small car Kwid. However, other car companies struggled, with Tata Motors, Honda, Toyota, General Motors and Nissan all faring poorly.
Automobile sales are seen as a barometer for economic confidence as they reflect an upwardly mobile consumer base, and are linked with several other industries. Carmakers said they hope to build on the growth in 2016, though industry experts were cautious given that diesel vehicles are being clamped down upon for their effect on air pollution levels.
The cheer from car sales is paradoxical to the situation in Delhi, where the massive number of cars on the roads has contributed to it becoming the most polluted city in the world. The Delhi government on Friday started a scheme to allow people with odd and even number plates to ply their vehicles on alternate days, in a bid to reduce traffic congestion and emissions in the city.