Maruti, Hyundai, Mahindra post double-digit festive season growth

    Total sales are 16 percent higher than what it was in October 2022.

    Published On Nov 02, 2023 03:05:00 PM


    October 2023 festive season sales

    New launches like the facelifted Harrier have accelerated sales.

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    Combined wholesale numbers of 14 carmakers for October 2023 have totalled a staggering 3,91,147 units, only a few thousand units shy of the 4,00,000-unit mark. Strong growth tailwinds in the form of the ongoing festive season, ramped-up production, new models aplenty, and an improved economic sentiment pump up passenger vehicle volumes to a record monthly high.

    Not only does this big number constitute strong 16 percent year-on-year growth (October 2022: 3,36,428) on a high year-ago base, but is 12 percent up month on month too (September 2023: 3,47,432 units). October marks the 10th month in a row that PV numbers have surpassed the 3,25,000-unit mark and the fourth straight month of 3,50,000-plus wholesales.

    1. Maruti, Hyundai and Tata maintain their top 3 position
    2. October fourth month in a row with 3.5 lakh-plus wholesales

    SUVs and MPVs continue to lead the growth

    With every second car sold in India being either an SUV or an MPV, the rate of growth in this segment is far above that of hatchbacks or sedans. The utility vehicle (UV) segment continues to be the number-driver for nearly all OEMs.

    October 2023 passenger vehicle sales
    CarmakerOct 23Oct 22YoY GrowthSep 22
    Maruti Suzuki1,68,0471,40,33720%1,50,81211.42%
    Tata Motors48,63745,4237%45,3177.32%
    MG Motor5,1084,36717%3,75536%

    Given that UVs accounted for 57 percent of total passenger vehicle sales in April-September 2023, it can be surmised that over 2,15,000 units sold in October were UVs. In FY2023, UVs accounted for 51 percent share of the total 3.89 million cars sold, which is indicative of the rapid growth in the ongoing fiscal year.

    This is amply reflected in the growth that the leading players have achieved in October. The top six carmakers – Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Mahindra, Kia and Toyota – have all recorded strong growth, four of them in double digits. What’s more, other than Toyota, the other five carmakers have also seen month-on-month growth over their September sales (see data table above). And, it’s not surprising that all these six carmakers' product portfolios are armed with a strong armoury of SUVs and MPVs.

    FY2024 could see record passenger vehicle sales

    With the current strong momentum, the sector is driving towards over 4 million sales for the entire fiscal. Not only will it surpass FY2023’s record 3.89 million units but it could well set a new benchmark at around 4.15 million units.

    What is accelerating sales is the recent spate of new product launches and all of them UVs – the facelifted Tata Nexon and Nexon.ev, new Seltos, Maruti Invicto MPV, Hyundai Exter, Tata Punch CNG, Toyota Rumion and the Honda Elevate.

    What comes as sweet news for India auto industry is the improving economy – GDP growth for the first quarter of FY2024 has accelerated to 7.8 percent from 6.1 percent in the preceding quarter with rural demand in recovery mode. This should give a fillip to vehicle sales albeit growth is expected to moderate subsequently given the somewhat inflationary conditions, a below-normal monsoon and high interest rates.

    While demand in the entry-level hatchback market remains tepid, demand is better in the mid-level and premium hatchback categories. 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 and retail sales of CNG-powered cars and SUVs, at 2,65,815 units in the January-September 2023 period were up 9 percent year on year.

    The Indian auto industry, which currently has an estimated order backlog of over 6,00,000 units, has ramped up factory production to cater to the surging demand in the ongoing festive season. Nearly all carmakers have put the chip crisis behind them and remain confident of significantly improved semiconductor supplies.

    Industry leaders expect passenger vehicle sales to cross a million units in the festive season, which is absolutely good news for the entire automotive ecosystem.

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