Car, SUV sales ride the festive season surge in September 2023

    Apart from Tata Motors and Kia, all carmakers posted positive YoY growth.

    Published On Oct 05, 2023 05:51:00 PM

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    September 2023 car SUV sales
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    With wholesale figures from the top eight carmakers in the country, the Indian passenger vehicle industry clocked 3,48,691 units in September 2023 – up about 4.5 percent from September 2022. The total wholesales is estimated to be at around 3,63,000 units with all the remaining carmakers combined. The big number is due to carmakers ensuring their dealer network across India is well stocked with popular models to cater to demand in the festive season.

    September marks the ninth consecutive month that PV sales have surpassed the 3,25,000-unit mark and the third straight month of 3,50,000-plus sales. September 2023 also means that six months of the ongoing fiscal year are over and at an estimated 20,60,996 units, YoY growth would be 6.41 percent and also crossing the two-million-units mark.

    Passenger car, SUV sales: September 2023
    CarmakerSeptember 23September 22YoY GrowthAugust 23MoM Change
    Maruti Suzuki1,50,8121,48,3802%1,56,114-3.39%
    Hyundai54,24149,7005%53,8300.76%
    Tata45,31747,864-9%45,933-1.34%
    Mahindra41,26734,50820%37,27010.72%
    Toyota22,16815,37844%20,9445.84%
    Kia20,02225,857-22.6%19,2194.2%
    Honda9,8618,71413%7,88025.13%
    MG Motor5,0033,80831%3,11360.71%
    Total3,48,6913,34,2094.5%3,44,3031.2%

    Maruti Suzuki

    150,812 units – up 2 percent YoY, down 3.39 percent MoM 

    Maruti Suzuki is surfing the unabating wave of SUV demand with robust double-digit growth, successfully buffering the slowdown in sales of its budget hatchbacks Alto and S-Pressoand its seven compact cars like the Baleno, Swift and Dzire. In September 2023, Maruti Suzuki despatched 1,50,812 units, up 2 percent YoY but down 3.39 percent on August 2023’s 1,56,114 units.

    The model-wise sales split, as detailed by Maruti Suzuki, reveals that its SUV and MPV portfolio sold 59,271 units, growing 82 percent YoY (September 2022: 26,697 units) and accounts for 39 percent of its total sales. A year ago, in September 2022, the UV share in Maruti’s total sales was just 22 percent. Demand for the budget hatchbacks, however, was down by a massive 65 percent, while the compact car segment was down by 5 percent this September.

    Hyundai

    54,241 units – up 9 percent YoY, up 0.76 percent MoM 

    Hyundai despatched 54,241 units in September, up 9 percent YoY. This constitutes the company’s best-ever monthly sales yet and indicates that it has kept Hyundai dealers well stocked. This is also the sixth time Hyundai has recorded monthly sales of 50,000 units this year.  

    What has given Hyundai a fresh charge is the Exter that has received over 75,000 bookings since launch, and the company has even ramped up production by 30 percent. It is learnt that with the launch of the Exter, around 64 percent of Hyundai’s total PV sales emanate from SUVs, which is 10-15 percent higher than the industry average of 50 percent. The biggest contribution continues to come from the Creta, which recently crossed the 9,00,000-unit sales milestone in July, eight years after launch.

    Tata Motors

    45,317 units – down 5 percent YoY, down 1.34 percent MoM 

    Tata Motors’ September 2023 wholesales at 45,317 units, down 5 percent (September 2022: 47,864), marks the second consecutive month of a sales decline. Following the flat sales in July (47,689), Tata Motors has reported a sales decline of 3 percent in August 2023 with 45,933 units. Tata’s double-digit growth of April reduced to single digit in May and June, then to nil in July, to -3 percent in August and -5 percent in September.

    Commenting on the September PV wholesales, Shailesh Chandra, MD, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, said: “We had proactively reduced supplies of the outgoing models this quarter to enable a smooth transition to the new generation models. Going forward, with deliveries commencing of our exciting new generation products, we expect stepped up volumes in this festive season and beyond.”

    Meanwhile, on the EV sales front, Tata Motors continues to make solid gains. In September 2023, the carmaker sold 6,050 EVs, up 56 percent YoY. While its April-September 2023 EV sales add up to 37,961 units, which marks robust 77 percent YoY growth, total EV sales in the first nine months of CY2023 are 53,921 units, up 75 percent year on year.

    Mahindra

    41,267 units – up 20 percent YoY, up 20 percent MoM

    Mahindra has notched its highest monthly sales for the third month in a row – after 36,205 units in July 2023, 37,270 units in August and now 41,267 units in September. Last month was also the seventh straight month that Mahindra sales have surpassed the 32,000-unit mark. A glance at the wholesales data reveals a strong and sustained growth trajectory. The cumulative six-month sales of 214,914 units constitute a robust 27 percent YoY increase (April-September 2022: 168,723 units).

    With as many as eight SUVs in its portfolio, Mahindra is, of course, one of those carmakers riding the surging wave of demand for SUVs. Expect Mahindra to further up the ante in the coming months as it ramps up production to meet surging demand for most of its models. The company plans to expand its SUV manufacturing capacity to increase it to up to 49,000 units in the current financial year or 600,000 units per annum, up from 29,000 units a month it was doing in December 2022.

    Toyota

    22,168 units – up 44 percent YoY, up 5.84 percent MoM 

    Toyota has reported sale of 22,168 units in September, up 44 percent on the year-ago 15,378 units and 5.84 percent up on August 2023’s 20,970 units. The Japanese carmaker’s September numbers are its best in the first six months of the fiscal year, as well as the entire calendar year to date. Cumulative sales in the first six months of FY2024 at 1,14,791 units are up 26 percent (April-September 2022: 91,433).

    What has energised the monthly numbers is the rollout of new models over the past six months as well as the increased production capacity through three-shift operations to meet growing market demand. Toyota states that it “has also maintained its segment leadership with the new Innova Crysta, Fortuner, and Legender models.” Another factor is the brand’s expanding dealer network reach – in the first six months of FY2024, TKM expanded its reach from 577 to 612 touchpoints across the country.

    Kia

    20,022 units – down 22.6 percent YoY, up 4.2 percent MoM

    Contrary to the trend, Kia has reported a notable YoY de-growth in wholesales to 20,022 units in September 2023 from 25,857 units sold in September 2022. Its MoM performance improved over 19,219 units sold in August 2023 to now command a 5.5 percent market share.

    It was also a marginal increase on a calendar year to date basis with 1,95,351 units sold in the CY23 period, up 1.7 percent from 1,92,024 units sold in the same 9-month period last year. Kia recently trademarked the EV1 to EV9 in India and has also launched the Carens X Line which is positioned at the top of the model range.

    Honda

    9,861 units – up 13 percent YoY, up 25.13 percent MoM

    Honda Cars India is back in the business of growing numbers and that’s thanks to the recent launch of the Elevate SUV, a segment where the company has been missing out big time.

    September sales of 9,861 units are its best yet in the ongoing fiscal and a 13 percent improvement over the year-ago sales (September 2023: 8,714 units) and importantly 25 percent better than a month ago (August 2023: 7,880). One can pin down the steep MoM increase to the company dispatching a large number of the Honda Elevate SUV to dealers. 

    MG Motor India

    5,003 units – up 31 percent YoY, up 60.71 percent MoM 

    MG Motor India has reported retail sales of 5,003 units in September 2023, up 31 percent on year-ago sales of 3,808 units and 61 percent up on August 2023’s 4,185 units. For the first six months of FY2024, cumulative sales are 28,882 units, up 30 percent (April-September 2022: 22,164 units).

    As per the company, sales of EVs account for around 25 percent of its total sales and both the ZS EV with ADAS Level 2 and the recently launched Astor Black Storm have received a positive customer response.

    Consumer demand for CNG-powered PVs had slackened in the first-half of CY2023 albeit that could be due to OEM supply constraints. Demand, however, has bounced back in the past three months. Meanwhile, the few OEMs, which have electric cars and SUVs, are also seeing demand grow month on month. India Passenger Vehicle Inc, which currently has an estimated order backlog of over 7,00,000 units, has ramped up factory production particularly in view of the ongoing festive season. Nearly all carmakers have put the chip crisis behind them and remain confident of significantly improved semiconductor supplies going forward.

    Also See:

    Government mulls legal action against 2-wheeler EV makers over FAME 2 violation

    Tesla to source USD 1.9 billion worth auto parts from India

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