MUMBAI, Jan. 4 (Kyodo) — Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., an Indian unit of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp., has said its domestic new car sales in December rose 5.9 percent from a year earlier to 82,073 units.

However, the automaker's sales contracted from the previous month, according to the announcement Thursday.

The country's second-largest domestic carmaker Hyundai Motor India Ltd. saw its sales drop 9.6 percent to 26,697 units in December on the year.

Rakesh Srivastava, vice president of sales and marketing at Hyundai Motor India, said, "In the year 2012, in difficult market conditions, we were able to improve on volumes while maintaining market share in passenger cars."

Also, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd., the Indian subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp., recorded sales of 26,697 units in December, down from 29,516 units in December of 2011.

Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, said, "Though we are satisfied with the overall growth in our sales volume of last year, the passenger car market continues to be slow, as it has been in the last few months."