MUMBAI – Global sales of India’s passenger vehicles in July increased 14.2% from year-ago to 136,009 units.

Domestic deliveries rose 11.5% to 115,954 units and exports jumped 32.3% to 20,055.

The industry in July sold 108,848 passenger cars, up 14.5% on year-ago, and 27,161 utilities, up 12.9%.

July’s positive results followed a combined 8.3% global sales rise for April and May and a 12.8% gain in June.

Despite rising interest rates and bloated dealer inventories, auto makers are confident sales will continue to grow throughout the next four festival months.

General Motors India Ltd. led July with sales spiking 86.5% to 4,570 units, for a 3.4% share of the market compared with year-ago’s 2.1%.

Maruti Udyog Ltd. followed, with deliveries climbing 24.8% to 57,909 units, for a 43% market share compared with 39% in like-2006.

The newly introduced gasoline-powered Chevy Spark led GM India’s sales, while the diesel-powered Swift led the charge for Maruti. The design and performance of these premium hatches clearly met customer anticipation.

Mahindra Group sales in the month rose 19.5% to 8,528 units, improving its market share from 5.9% to 8.4%. The Renault Logan led growth for the new Mahindra Renault Ltd. joint venture, with deliveries of 2,890 vehicles in July. The popular no-frills small car has sold 8,057 units in the three months since its launch here.

“We are increasing our production 33% to 4,000 cars for meeting the (upcoming) festival demands,” says Rajesh Jejurikar, Mahindra-Renault managing director.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd.’s July sales climbed 14.6% to 28,203 units, helping the auto maker maintain its 20.7% market share. However, while exports soared 57%, compared with year-ago, to 13,200 units, domestic sales fell 7.3% due to production capacity restraints.

“As a global small-car hub, our focus has been on overseas sales,” Vice President Arvind Saxena says, noting domestic demand cannot be met until the auto maker’s new plant comes on line, doubling current capacity.

Tata Motors Ltd., with its aging models, continued its sales decline, with deliveries falling 6.1% to 19,118 units in July. The company’s energy currently is focused on its upcoming small car due out next year.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd., which also is marking time until it decides on the small car for its upcoming new plant, saw sales in the month rise 5.7% to 4,255 units.

Among other auto makers, the India-made BMW 3-Series sold 134 units in July, while Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class deliveries rose 18.4% to 180. Fiat India Ltd. increased sales to 463 vehicles in the month, spurred by demand for the new Palio.

Celebrating the golden jubilee of its workhorse Ambassador (launched in 1957), Hindustan Motors Ltd. sold 1,308 cars in July, up 4.6%.

Last year’s market leaders, Ford India Ltd. and Honda Siel Cars India Ltd., continued to lose market share in the month but for different reasons.

Ford has reclassified its sales data by excluding completely built-up exports of the Ikon sedan, and July’s domestic deliveries slid 10.4% to 2,703 units.

Honda deliveries fell 16.9% in July, compared with year-ago, to 4,537 units. Sales were hurt by the success of new competing sedans, such as Maruti’s SX4, and by the Swift and Spark hatchbacks that offer sedan-like features at almost half the price.