Car sales in March witnessed a big rise ahead of expected price hikes after the Budget. Car buyers in India rushed to dealerships before excise tax hikes announced in the budget began to impact prices. The government however in the budget did not slap a tax on diesel vehicles.

Hyundai Motor India’s sales in went up by 22.9 percent to 39122 compared to 31822 units in same month last year. “We could meet our expectations in March as there was considerable interest to beat the expected price hike in the Union Budget. The market continues to pose many challenges and things can improve if interest rates come down this quarter,” Hyundai Motor India Director Arvind Saxena said.

Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) reported a three-fold jump in its sales for March. The manufacturer sold 11016 units compared to 3576 units it sold in the same month last year. HSCI Senior Vice-President Jnaneswar Sen commenting on the increase in sales said, “Our sales performance in the month of March has been very impressive and is a testimony to our customer’s trust and confidence in our product and services.” “Owing to the Tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand, Honda Siel Cars India was going through production cut at its Greater Noida plant during the year 2011, he added”. Honda has launched the Brio hatchback and the new City last year and these two cars along with the Jazz have driven the increase in Honda sales.

Even luxury car manufacturers like Audi witnessed unprecedented increase in sales. Audi sold 1002 cars in March compared to 681 cars from March 2010. Audi India said in a statement. “Our impressive sales performance this quarter is testimony to the positive customer response to progressive design, world-class services and high qualitative network growth,” said, Michael Perschke, Audi India Head. “Our business luxury limousine, Audi A6 and the Audi A4 have contributed greatly to this sales performance,” he added. Later in the year Audi is going to launch the Q3 to compete with the BMW X1 and the Q3 is expected to increase the sales even more considering that it would be the cheapest in the Audi line up.

Toyota Kirloskar Motors also reported an 87% increase in car sales. Their sales increased to 18220 units in March compared to 9726 units last year. The Etios sedan registered a 57% growth selling 5104 units and the Etios Liva also recorded its highest ever monthly sales with 4034 units. The New Innova sold 6765 units against 4418 units in March last year and the new Fortuner sold 1379 units over 980 units in the same month last year. The Corolla Altis sold 917 units as well. Sandeep Singh, Toyota Deputy Managing Director however said that the trend could well be reversed next month. ” However, the demand next month could be impacted due to the increase in excise duty, registration tax and VAT,” he said.

General Motors India sales increased by 12.8 percent as the manufacturer sold 10588 units compared to 9391 units in March of 2011. Maruti Suzuki sold 1.13lakh units over 1.10 lakh units in March 2011. Similarly, Volkswagen sales in March increased to 8326 units from 8095 units. Tata Motors sold 36984 units compared to 27678 vehicles sold a year ago. sold 23020 units compared to 17320 units in March 2011.