Chennai–Indian automotive makers opened the new fiscal with positive sales growth while hoping for a favourable verdict in the apex court over the sale of diesel engine-powered vehicles.

India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd logged 13.3 percent rise in its sales volume.

The company sold 126,569 units (domestic 117,045 units, exports 9,524 units) in total, as against 111,748 units (domestic 100,709 units, exports 11,039 units) in the corresponding month last year, the company said in a statement.

Among car segments, the sales of the mini, compact, super compact and mid-size passenger cars grew only 2.7 percent in April while the company’s sales in utility vehicles rose by a whopping 260.4 percent.

Maruti Suzuki sold 16,044 units of utility vehicles in April as against 4,452 units in the same month last year.

On its part, India’s second largest car maker Hyundai Motor India Ltd sold 54,420 units (domestic 42,351 units, exports 12,069 units) last month as against 51,505 units (domestic 38,601 units, exports 12,904 units) during April 2015.

According to Rakesh Srivastava, senior vice president for sales and marketing, the company continued its growth momentum, logging 9.7 percent volume growth last month at a time when the industry is facing challenges on rural sales, and sales on diesel vehicles.

Similarly Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) logged 14 percent higher sales at 41,856 units last month as against 36,727 units sold in April 2015.

President and chief executive Pravin Shah expressed happiness over the growth in sales.

He hoped that the apex court would take into account the role of the automotive industry in the industrial growth while deciding on the ban on diesel vehicles in the national capital region (NCR).

Last month Ford India sold a total of 16,470 units up from 14,215 units sold in the same month last year.

However Honda Cars India sales came down to 10,486 units last month from 12,636 units sold in April 2015.

Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice president, marketing & sales, said: “The automobile industry is facing big challenge because of sudden shift in consumer preferences from diesel to petrol. Moreover the continuing ban on diesel has also impacted consumer sentiment.

“All these have impacted Honda Cars sales as there is a big mismatch in demand and availability of required variants and corrective measures are being taken to address the issue.”

Commercial vehicle maker VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) posted 36.5 percent growth in total sales in April at 5,365 units as against 3,930 units sold in the same month last year.

The company, a joint venture between Sweden’s Volvo Group and Eicher Motors, said Eicher-branded trucks and buses registered total sales of 5,326 units (domestic 4,641 units, exports 685 units) in the last month compared to 3,838 units (3,503 units, exports 335 units) in the corresponding month last year.

The company sold 39 units of Volvo trucks last month compared to 92 units in April 2015.

Similarly, Ashok Leyland Ltd said it sold 10,180 units last month up from 8,435 units in April 2015.

On the two-wheeler side, Eicher Motors Ltd reported sales of 48,197 units (domestic 47,037 units, exports 1,160 units) up from 33,918 units (domestic 33,118 units, exports 800 units) sold in April 2015.

However, two- and three-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto Ltd. went on the reverse gear last month selling 330,109 units down from 336,274 units in April 2015.

The company’s sales of commercial vehicles last month went down by 24 percent to 38,211 units as against 50,483 units in April 2015. (IANS)