Automobile companies have begun the new year on a positive note, logging steady and stable growth in sales for the month of January. The industry had struggled to grow sales last year as high interest rates and fuel cost dampened sentiments, keeping sales sluggish. Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) January sales zoomed by 22 per cent at 44,717 units from 36,718 units sold during the corresponding month of 2011.The company’s domestic sales grew by 20 per cent at 41,369 units in the month under review from 34,601 units sold during January 2011.Exports during the month zoomed by 95 per cent at 3,348 units from 1,713 units shipped out in the corresponding period of last year.Tata Motors too reported good sales numbers for last month growing 16 per cent. This included exports at 87,465 units over 75,423 sold in the like period of 2011.The company said its domestic sales for the month under review grew by 14 per cent at 80,382 units from 70,475 units sold in the corresponding month of last year. Sales from exports at 7,083 vehicles in January 2012 were higher by 43 per cent compared to 4,948 vehicles in January last year. Domestic passenger car sales and distribution offtake of Fiat cars too grew by 14 per cent at 36,770 units from 32,386 units in the corresponding period of last year. Sales of the entry-level hatchback Tata Nano reported an upward swing of 15 per cent at 7,723 units from 6,703 in January last year. Chennai-based Hyundai Motor India closed last month with a sales growth of 15.2 per cent at 49,901 units from 43,316 units in the like period of 2011.Domestic sales grew by 11.85 per cent in the month under review at 33,900 units from 30,306 units sold in January, 2011. Exports zoomed by 22.9 per cent at 16,001 units from 13,010 units shipped out in the like period of 2011.Passenger vehicle market leader Maruti Suzuki registered a 5.2 per cent increase in its sales for last month at 115,433 vehicles from 109,743 units sold in January 2011. Exports zoomed by 54.3 per cent jump at 14,386 vehicles during the month under review against 9,321 units sold in January 2011.Domestic sales, however, remained sluggish in January with a marginal growth of 0.6 per cent at 101,047 units from 100,422 company sold in the corresponding period of last year.Two-wheeler segment was led by Hero MotoCorp, which reported a growth of 11.5 per cent in its sales for last month at 520,272 units over 4,66,524 units sold in the corresponding period of the previous year.The company reported an increase of 17.4 per cent in sales for the period of April 2011 to January 2012 at 51,83,440 units over 44,14,537 units sold in April 2010 to January 2011.