Car sales rose 9.62 per cent in India last month while overall passenger vehicles grew 16.78 per cent, driven mainly by robust sales of utility vehicles including Maruti Suzuki's Vitara Brezza and Hyundai's Creta.
According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger vehicle (PV) sales stood at 2,59,685 units in July as against 2,22,368 units in the same month last year.
"The new models in the UV segment have created a lot of excitement in the market. Also the sentiment is positive due to better rains and coming of the 7th Pay Commission. All these factors put together are responsible for the off take which is happening," SIAM Deputy Secretary General Sugato Sen told reporters here.
Growth in overall PV sales was driven by UVs, which saw a jump of 41.85 per cent to 64,105 units as against 45,191 units in the same month last year.
"The PV sales have grown at the fastest pace since October 2015 when it had posted a growth of 21.46 per cent," Sen said. On the other hand, car sales were at 1,77,604 units up from 1,62,022 units in July last year.
"It is after two months of decline that we have seen car sales grow in July. But still the cumulative sales during the year remain sluggish. Customers are moving towards Utility vehicles, including compact SUVs," Sen said.
Market leader Maruti Suzuki India saw domestic car sales increase by 2.21 per cent in July to 93,634 units from 91,602 units a year ago. Its UV sales jumped 151 per cent to 17,382 units from 6,916 units.
Rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) also saw its car sales increase by 12.15 per cent to 33,197 in July as against 29,599 units in the same month last year. The company saw its UV sales rise 15.93 to 8,004 units during the month from 6,904 units in July last year.
UVs major Mahindra & Mahindra's sales were up 20.88 per cent at 15,962 units as against 13,204 in the year-ago period.
Tata Motors' car sales last month were up 43.29 per cent at 12,209 units as against 8,520 units in July 2015 but its UV sales were down at 1,338 units from 1,815 units last year.
Totoya Kirloskar Motor's UV sales were up 18.6 per cent at 8,356 units last month as against 7,045 units in July last year. This was mainly on the back of its newly launched Innova Crysta multi-purpose vehicle.
According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales rose 13.52 percent to 14,76,340 units last month from 13,00,457 a year ago.
Motorcycle sales rose 10.98 per cent during the month to 8,97,092 units from 8,08,332 units last July.
"Motorcycle sales, which have been impacted in rural areas for nearly three years now, witnessed some revival last month. Due to positive sentiment generated by good rains people have started buying bikes. Also, sowing season has been good," Sen said.
Two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp posted 6.7 per cent growth in its motorcycle sales at 4,48,119 units in July as against 4,19,950 units a year ago.
Rival Bajaj Auto's bike sales were up 21.33 per cent at 1,74,324 units in July, as against 1,43,671 units in the same month of last year.
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India's (HMSI) motorcycle sales were at 1,20,381 units as against 1,12,112 units in the same month last year, up 7.37 per cent.
SIAM said scooter sales in July were up 16.66 per cent at 5,04,258 units as against 4,32,262 units in the same month last year.
Segment leader HMSI posted a growth of 19.26 per cent in its scooter sales at 3,09,170 units as against 2,59,237 units in the same month last year.
Hero MotoCorp also witnessed a jump of 60.43 per cent in scooter sales at 72,440 units, as against 45,151 units a year ago.
Chennai-based TVS Motor Co's scooter sales were at 64,704 units in July as against 65,930 units in the same month last year, down 1.85 per cent.
Sales of commercial vehicles rose marginally to 51,853 units in the month under review from 51,795 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.
"To some extent the sales of medium and heavy duty trucks has been impacted as replacement demand has been yet already and new demand is yet to come in. Once harvesting is done we expect the demand to gain go up," Sen said.
Total sales of vehicles across categories registered an increase of 13.22 per cent to 18,33,976 units in July as against 16,19,771 units in the same month last year.
(with agency inputs)