Indian car sales still booming

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The latest report from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers indicates that vehicle sales in South Asia are churning along despite higher interest rates and gas prices. All in all, Indian production of automobiles and other commercial vehicles ramped up another 20.3% on an annualized basis in April. That represents a minuscule 3/10 of a percentage point deceleration from March, but is still above the 19.9% growth rate printed in January. In any event, talking about fine gradations of 19% to 20% growth only disguises the primary point here, which is that despite the naysayers, Indian car sales have not gone over any cliffs lately. Compared to the flat to negative growth we are seeing in developed markets, it is no wonder that the world's car makers are still eager to get a taste of the boisterous Indian market. Nonetheless, Tata Motors (TTM, quote ) has suffered as traders find themselves spooked by the naysayers. Even last night, TTM shares sank another 1.5% -- even though the Sensex benchmark held the key 18,500 level. TTM is now selling the ultra-low-priced Nano car in Sri Lanka and is planning to export the car to other Asian nations. Once that happens, TTM will no longer be a prisoner of Indian interest rates on the low end of its product line. Its higher-end Jaguar and Land Rover brands are already doing big business around the world.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , International , Stocks

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