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Tractor sales down 13.6 pc

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Aug. 19

TRACTOR sales fell by 13.6 per cent during April-March 2001-02 to 2,15,609 units from 2,49,572 units in the fiscal year 2000-01.

Out of the 10 tractor companies surveyed, sales of about seven either declined or remained flat during the period between April 2001 and March 2002, according to the data released by the Tractor Manufacturers' Association (TMA).

Only Sonalika Tractors, due to its aggressive pricing policy, saw a surge in sales to 17,002 units during the year compared to 13,496 units sold in 2000-01.

According to the TMA data, tractor sales in the 21-30 horse power (HP) segment declined by 14.6 per cent, while sales in the 31-40 HP tractor segment dived by 16.9 per cent to 1,14,865 units.

Sales in the less than 30 HP segment fell 15.2 per cent while those in the 41-50 HP segment dropped 2.93 per cent and in the over 50 HP segment by 5 per cent. The small size of land holdings in India has ensured that the majority of tractor sales remain in the below 40 HP segment. Uttar Pradesh remained the largest market for tractors with sales of 50,886 units last year, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, the data showed.

Total production too, declined by about 15.9 per cent to 2,08,618 units in April-March (2001-02) from 2,48,079 units in the previous year.

Both production and sales of tractors are expected to see a further beating in the current fiscal as the country faces a drought. The effect is expected to be higher in key tractor markets such as Gujarat and Punjab.

Players have resorted to giving discounts as well as cutting costs to ensure profitability. There has also been an aggressive push towards exports by the domestic players.

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