India's monthly car sales shot to a record high in January with customers looking to pick up vehicles in a bid to beat possible tax hikes in the budget due 26February. According to experts the momentum could be expected to continue up to the dateline.
According to market watchers finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee could start reversing cuts in factory gate taxes, which would see prices of just about everything from soaps to cars rise, when he presents the budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Amid such expectations February sales would increase on a more-than-normal lift at a time when consumer enthusiasm generally flags in anticipation of tax cuts and lower prices, according to analysts.
The January sales figures stood at 145,905 cars, the highest-ever monthly figure according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The corresponding year ago figure was 110,300 units.
Meanwhile, India and China continue to be hot spots for automakers, with SIAM projecting vehicle sales growth at 12-13 per cent for the fiscal year commencing 1 April.
Between April 2009 and January 2010, vehicle sales have surged 24 per cent to nearly 10 million units on a low base and with tax cuts softening the loan rates.