Car sales in India rose 26% over a year earlier to a monthly record in January as rising personal income in a growing economy bolstered demand in Asia’s third-biggest automobile market.
According to data released Wednesday by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group, auto makers sold 184,332 passenger cars in January, compared with 145,971 units a year earlier. That beat the prior monthly record of 182,992 cars last October.
Sales rose despite price hikes by companies such as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG in the past month to offset higher raw-material costs.
Companies such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. have aggressively expanded in India to offset a slump in their traditional strongholds, the U.S. and Europe, while Indian companies such as Maruti expanded their portfolio and capacities to take on increasing competition.