Maruti Suzuki cars at a parking lot in Mumbai: Photo: AFP
Maruti Suzuki cars at a parking lot in Mumbai: Photo: AFP

Volatile fuel prices in India have failed to dampen the spirit of vehicle buyers. The sale of cars and SUVs rose 20% in May, the second month of growth in a row, and overall vehicle sales grew 12.13%, the Times of India reports.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) data, passenger vehicle sales – comprising cars, SUVs and vans – stood at 300,000 units last month against 250,000 units in the same month last year.

Sales of passenger cars were up 20% at 200,000 units, against 160,000 units in May last year. Utility vehicle (UV) sales rose 18% to 82,086 units, while van sales surged 30% to 19,673 units.

Vehicle sales were hit last year in May due to the impending GST roll out from July 1, 2017. Customers expected the GST would lower car prices and deferred their purchases, which hurt sales in May and June last year. May this year was on a somewhat lower base.

Another factor that spurred growth was new product launches. Sales of the newly launched Toyota Yaris and Honda Amaze, and strong numbers from market leader Maruti Suzuki, added to the spike in passenger car numbers.

However, SIAM has clarified these are wholesale numbers as manufacturers usually declare only shipments to dealerships and not retail sales.