India Auto Sales Rise 3.9% Amid Demand for Maruti, Honda Models

India’s annual passenger vehicle sales rose 3.9 percent as new models from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. attracted buyers in Asia’s third-largest car market.

Deliveries of cars, minivans and sport-utility vehicles rose to 2.6 million units in the 12 months ended March, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement in New Delhi today. Sales fell 6.1 percent in the year-earlier period.

Growth was primarily led by new hatchback and mid-sized sedan models. Maruti, the local unit of Suzuki Motor Corp., maintained its market-leading position as it sold more Ciaz and Dzire sedans, while Honda jumped one position to become the country’s fourth-biggest automaker by volume with a surge in demand for its new City sedan.

“We’ve seen established brands grow with new models,” said Deepesh Rathore, director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors in New Delhi. Demand will be driven by the introduction of models including compact SUVs and mid-size sedans and “as confidence in the economy recovers,” he said.

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