Car, SUV despatches up 14 percent in January 2024

    Total despatches to dealers have crossed 3.93 lakh during the month; SUVs and MPVs, expectedly, held the largest share of the shipments.

    Published On Feb 15, 2024 01:56:00 PM

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    Maruti Grand Vitara
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    If CY2023 closed on a very strong note for the Indian passenger vehicle industry with record wholesales of 4.10 million units (up 8 percent), then CY2024 bids fair to go beyond that. The first month of this year saw PV (cars, utility vehicles and vans) manufacturers despatch a record 3,93,074 units to their authorised dealers across the country. This constitutes a solid 14 percent year-on-year increase (January 2023: 3,46,080 units) and a measure of OEM eagerness to cater to customer demand for new vehicle registrations early in the new year.

    1. SUVs accounted for over 61 percent of total PV despatches
    2. Maruti Suzuki leads with 1,66,802 units sold
    3. Elevate alone accounted for 53 percent of Honda Car’s despatches

    As with the record PV wholesales last month, the retail sales scenario too was a robust one in January 2024. At 3,93,250 units and 13.30 percent YoY growth, January 2024 is now the new benchmark for best-ever monthly retails for India PV Inc, surpassing the previous best in November 2023 (3,60,431 units).

    What continues to power PV despatches is the unabated demand for utility vehicles (UVs), which at 2,41,596 units in January 2024 accounted for 61.46 percent of total PV shipments to showrooms. This helps buffer the sharp decline in demand for entry-level hatchbacks and tepid growth for other cars and sedans.

    With the wave of UV demand continuing, it’s not surprising that the companies with SUV-heavy portfolios continue to make gains month after month in the overall PV market. Maruti Suzuki maintains its UV leadership with a 26 percent share (up from 20 percent a year ago), followed by Mahindra & Mahindra (18 percent), Tata Motors (17 percent) and Hyundai Motor India (15 percent). While Kia India's UV share is down to 10 percent from 16 percent a year ago, Toyota Kirloskar Motor has increased its share to 8 percent from 6 percent in January 2023. Honda Cars India, which was missing the action big time, is back in the game with the Elevate, which has helped increase its UV share to 2 percent from 0.1 percent a year ago.

    Maruti Suzuki

    Maruti Suzuki India led the charge in January 2024 with 1,66,802 units, up 13 percent, making last month its second-best monthly sales performance in the ongoing fiscal year (April 2023 to March 2024) – just 1,245 units fewer than October 2023’s 1,68,047 units. Maruti, with its UV portfolio comprising the Brezza, Grand Vitara, Fronx, Jimny, XL6, Ertiga and the new Invicto, sold 62,038 units, which is the company's second-best UV monthly sales yet – an agonising 11 units short of the best ever monthly UV sales of 62,049 UVs in July 2023. This means UV despatches were 37 percent of its overall PV despatches.

    Hyundai Motor India

    Hyundai Motor India, with 57,118 units (up 14 percent), clocked its best-ever monthly despatches in January 2024. UVs with 35,479 units accounted for 62 percent of the company’s total PV wholesales last month. Demand continues to be powered by the Creta midsize SUV and the Exter compact SUV (which has received over 1,00,000 bookings). For Hyundai, whose SUV line-up comprises the Creta, Venue, Alcazar, Exter and the Tucson, along with the Ioniq 5 and Kona electric SUVs, last month’s wholesales would have received a boost from the launch of the Creta facelift on January 16. Priced at Rs 11 lakh, the new Creta costs Rs 80,000 more than the pre-facelift model and has already received close to 50,000 bookings since January 2.

    Tata Motors

    Like Hyundai, Tata Motors had a strong CY2024 opener. The company registered its best monthly wholesales for PVs (53,633 units, up 13 percent) and for EVs (65,979 units, up 69 percent). This is the first time that the company has clocked over 50,000-unit sales in a month. The UV wholesales, at an estimated 40,679 units, account for 76 percent of Tata Motors’ overall PV despatches in January 2024.

    The company, which retails seven PVs – Altroz, Tigor, Tiago, Nexon, Punch, Harrier and the Safari – has capitalised on surging demand for its SUVs, particularly the Nexon and Punch compact SUVs as well as the fact that with a PV portfolio that spans petrol, diesel, CNG and electric powerplants, thereby considerably expanding its consumer reach compared to most of its rivals. The recent price reduction of Nexon EV and Tiago EV, as well as the Nexon acing the Global NCAP crash test with a top 5-star rating, will provide more sales ammo in the months to come.

    Mahindra

    Last month, Mahindra & Mahindra, whose product portfolio comprises eight SUVs (Bolero, Bolero Neo, Scorpio N, Scorpio Classic, Thar, XUV300, XUV400 and XUV700) and a sole sedan (eVerito), sold 43,068 units, a strong 31 percent YoY increase (January 2023: 32,915 units). What reflects the continued strong level of demand for Mahindra models is the fact that as of February 1, the auto major has 2,26,000 bookings in hand and is ramping up production to 49,000 units a month in Q4 FY2024.

    Kia Motors

    With 23,769 units despatched, Kia Motors India saw demand decline 17 percent YoY (January 2023: 28,634 units). This is likely because the Korean carmaker would have already revved up dealer inventory in December 2023 ahead of the January 2024 launch of the Sonet facelift. Last month’s despatches comprised 11,530 Sonets (up 25 percent YoY), 6,391 Seltos (down 39 percent YoY) and 5,848 Carens MPVs (down 26 percent YoY).

    Toyota Kirloskar Motor

    Toyota Kirloskar Motor, with 23,190 PVs despatched, recorded a handsome 81 percent YoY growth (January 2023: 12,834 units). This strong performance is a result of sustained demand for its MPVs and SUVs as also Maruti Suzuki-rebadged models like the Glanza, Urban Cruiser Hyryder and Rumion, ramped-up production at its Bidadi plant, and a host of customer-friendly initiatives. In January 2024, UVs (19,138 units) accounted for 82.52 percent of TKM’s total PV sales.

    Honda Cars

    Honda Cars India’s latest product – the Elevate midsize SUV – has given the company a new charge in the domestic market. Growing customer demand for the Elevate meant that it was the highest in Honda despatches in January 2024 – 4,586 units, ahead of the Amaze (2,972 units) and the City (1,123 units). This means the Elevate alone accounted for 53 percent of the Japanese car and SUV maker’s wholesales last month.

    Also see:

    CNG car, SUV sales in India could cross 4.75 lakh units by March

    Toyota Innova Crysta, Fortuner, Hilux despatches resume in India

    JLR turns focus to PHEVs amidst global slowdown in EV sales

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