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India's beleaguered auto sector hopeful of festive sales recovery

Maruti reports slim profit rise as demand picks up and supply constraints ease

A worker sanitizes a Maruti Suzuki vehicle at a showroom. India's largest automaker is witnessing recovery in new car sales. (Photo courtesy of the company)

NEW DELHI -- India's automobile industry is optimistic of a pickup in sales in the current festive season after the sharp slump in 2019 and production and supply disruptions this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but company leaders say the true picture of recovery would only become clear next year.

The country's top-selling passenger carmaker Maruti Suzuki India and third-largest Tata Motors said demand during the current festive season has helped. The festive season started in mid-October and will last until Diwali, the country's biggest Hindu festival, which falls on Nov. 14. Maruti is majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor.

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