New Delhi: Indian passenger car segment witnessed a high single-digit growth rate of 8.49 percent in December 2011 as heavy discounts lured customers to showrooms, besides an imminent price hike from this month pushing sales further.

Meanwhile, sales of the overall Indian automobile sector in 2011 increased by 14.25 percent to 1,69,13,355 units from 1,48,04,108 units in 2010, said Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) today at the 11th Auto Expo here.

During December 2011, domestic passenger car sales jumped by 8.49 percent to 1,59,325 units compared to 1,46,856 units in the same month a year ago, SIAM said.

"What I am told in the market is that the discounts in December and the expectations of a price hike in January had an impact on sales positively," SIAM President S Sandilya said here.

The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India posted sales of 69,329 units, down 8.36 percent from the same month previous year.

However, rival Hyundai Motor India's sales grew by 12.98 percent to 29,449 units from December 2010, while Tata Motors' sales increased by 39.68 percent to 23,661 units.

According to SIAM, total two-wheeler sales in December 2011 increased by 8.52 percent to 10,91,982 units from 10,06,289 units in the same period of previous year.

Motorcycle sales in the country during the month grew by 7.27 percent to 8,07,829 units from 7,53,102 units in the same month previous year.

Market leader Hero Honda witnessed a growth of 7.93 percent at 4,88,604 units as compared to the same month a year ago, SIAM said.

Rival Bajaj Auto jumped at 1,69,485 units, up 2.43 percent from the corresponding month previous year. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) saw its bike sales going up by 29.28 percent to 69,581 units as compared to the same month previous year.

However, TVS Motor Co had a sales of 39,198 units, down 12.11 percent from the same month a year go year.

On the scooters front, sales grew by 16.23 percent to 2,18,974 units in December 2011 as against 1,88,391 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

The growth in the segment was led by HMSI with an increase of 44.52 percent at 1,10,282 units during last month.

TVS Motor's scooter sales were at 42,370 units, a rise of 6.02 percent, while that of Hero Honda increased marginally at 36,546 units.

Total sales of commercial vehicles during the month jumped by 14.50 percent to 72,192 units from 63,048 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.

(Agencies)