The Indian passenger vehicles industry crossed the threshold of one-million-mark and sold 10,030,068, including exports during 2003-04. This constitutes a 32.2 per cent growth over 779,203 units sold in 2003-03.
The domestic sales of passenger vehicles touched a record high of 900,752 units in 2003-04, a 27.37 per cent growth compared to 707, 198 units sold in 2003-03. Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) president and Maruti Udyog Ltd managing director Jagdish Khattar exuded confidence that the domestic industry sales would also cross the million-mark in the current fiscal.
However, he said the benefits given by the central government were getting nullified due to unprecedented rise in input costs and increase in local taxes by the state governments. Khattar said the automobile exports from India crossed the $ 1-billion-mark in the last fiscal.
He said the industry is confident of growing by 10 to 15 per cent in the current fiscal and hoped the trend witnessed by overall economic growth, excise duty cuts and softening of interest rates would continue. Outlining the automobile industry’s expectations from the government, he said a proper implementation of value added tax and reduction in excise duty to 16 per cent by 2005 as outlined earlier were some of the imperatives to sustained growth.
Sales of utility vehicles went up by 27.6 per cent to 1,44,981 units during 2003-04 compared to 1,13,620 units in the previous year.