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India's March Passenger Car Sales Rise to Record on New Models

From bloomberg| April 12,2007

India's passenger car sales rose 2.9 percent in March to a record as new models from Suzuki Motor Corp. and Tata Motors Ltd. spurred demand from the nation's growing middle class.

Car sales in March totaled 114,195 compared with 110,978 a year earlier, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement in New Delhi today. Sales in the fiscal year ended March 31 rose by 22 percent to a record 1.076 million, it said.

Economic growth is spurring demand in a nation where only seven in 1,000 people own a car. The prospect of sales tripling to 3 million units annually by 2015 has attracted Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and other carmakers to set up their first factories in Asia's fourth-biggest automotive market.

The growth should continue going forward, due to people's aspirations and rising incomes, which has improved affordability,'' said Sanjay Sinha, who manages the equivalent of $3.6 billion in stocks at SBI Funds Management Ltd. in Mumbai.

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