New car, SUV sales show steady growth in February 2023

    Toyota has witnessed 75 percent YoY growth for the second consecutive month.

    Published On Mar 03, 2023 08:00:00 AM


    Toyota Innova Hycross front quarter.
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    India’s passenger vehicle growth story has continued its march in February 2023. At 3,17,905 units, which constitute the wholesale numbers released by eight carmakers (see data table below), the industry has driven past the 3,00,000-unit mark for the eighth month in the first 11 months (April 2022 to February 2023) of the ongoing fiscal year.

    February 2023 Passenger Car Sales
    February 2023February 2022ChangeGrowth
    Maruti Suzuki1,47,4671,33,94813,51910%
    Tata Motors42,86239,9812,8817%

    The festive month of September 2022, with 3,55,043 units, was the best month in the fiscal to date. Other than April, May and December 2022, overall PV sales have been over the 3,20,000-unit mark. This is despite tepid demand for entry-level mass-market hatchbacks, which not so long ago were the growth drivers for the industry. What has powered growth over the past couple of years is the sustained and surging demand for SUVs and considering that every second car sold in India is now a utility vehicle, over 1,60,000 units would comprise UVs, SUV or an MPV.

    Here’s taking a closer look at how the seven OEMs fared in February 2023. Not surprisingly, those with a strong UV portfolio and good factory production have seen robust growth.

    Maruti Suzuki - 147,467 units/ up 10 percent YoY

    Having opened January with sales of 1,47,348 units, Maruti Suzuki has followed it up with 1,47,467 units in February, up 10 percent. The difference between the two months is just 119 units, indicating that demand for its entry-level vehicles is still tepid even as the company makes solid gains on the utility vehicle front.

    Nevertheless, February 2023 is the second-best monthly sales performance after festive September 2022's 1,48,380 units. Its entry-level cars – the Alto and S-Presso – sold 21,875 units, up 11 percent but were down 14 percent on January 2023’s 25,446 units. Demand has perked up following the launch of the S-Presso CNG in October 2022 and the third-generation Alto K10 in November 2022. For the first 11 months, cumulative sales of these two cars are 2,21,329 units, up 13 percent YoY.

    Maruti Suzuki sales FY2023
    April 20221,21,9951,35,879-13,884-10%
    May 20221,24,47432,90391,571278%
    June 20221,22,6851,24,280-1,595-1%
    July 20221,42,8501,33,7329,1187%
    August 20221,34,1661,03,18730,97930%
    September 20221,48,38063,11185,269135%
    October 20221,40,3371,08,99131,34629%
    November 20221,32,3951,09,72622,66921%
    December 20221,12,0101,23,016-11,006-9%
    January 20231,47,3481,28,92418,42414%
    February 20231,47,4671,33,94813,51910%

    Last month, Maruti Suzuki’s six-pack comprising the Baleno, Celerio, Dzire (and Tour S), Ignis, Swift and Wagon R sold a total of 79,898 units, up by 3 percent, and 8.20 percent more than January 2023’s 73,840 units.

    Maruti Suzuki, like other OEMs, is riding the continuing wave of demand for SUVs. Its pack of UVs – the new Brezza, Ertiga, XL6 and the new Grand Vitara – sold a total of 33,550 units, up 32 percent. There is strong demand for the new Grand Vitara (which now also has a CNG variant) and the new Brezza. The Maruti Grand Vitara, which has sold over 32,000 units in five months since launch, was recently voted Autocar India’s Car of the Year 2023, which is a strong testament to the product’s standing in India’s competitive SUV market.

    Maruti Suzuki, which currently has an order backlog of around 4,05,000 vehicles, has had to contend with a slower rate of production due to supply chain issues. Given the stiff competition, particularly in the booming SUV segment, it will have to ramp up production to capitalise on demand.

    Hyundai - 47,001 units/ up 7 percent YoY

    While the Chennai-based manufacturer’s domestic market sales of 47,001 units are up 7 percent year-on-year (February 2022: 44,050 units), they are 6 percent lower than January 2023’s 50,106 units. Nevertheless, this has enabled Hyundai to drive past the half-a-million sales milestone in the first 11 months of FY2023. With cumulative sales of 5,16,946 units between April 2022 and February 2023, Hyundai is set to record its best-ever fiscal-year sales in FY2023. 

    Hyundai sales FY2023
    MonthFY 2023FY 2022ChangeGrowth
    April 202244,00049,002-5,002-10%
    May 202242,29325,00117,29269%
    June 202249,00140,4968,50521%
    July 202250,50048,0422,4585%
    August 202249,51046,8662,6446%
    September 202249,70033,08716,61350%
    October 202248,00137,02110,98030%
    November 202248,00337,00111,00230%
    December 202238,83132,3126,51920%
    January 202350,10644,0226,08414%
    February 202347,00144,0502,9517%

    Tata Motors - 42,862 units/ up 7 percent YoY

    A hard-charging Tata Motors, which is close on Hyundai’s heels, is just 5,404 units away from surpassing the 5,00,000-unit sales milestone in FY2023. The carmaker reported sales of 42,862 units in February 2023, up 7 percent (February 2022: 39,981 units). This takes its 11-month cumulative sales to 4,94,596 units, which constitutes 51 percent YoY growth.

    Clearly, Tata Motors, which achieved its highest-ever sales for a calendar year in 2022 with 5,26,798 units and 50 percent year-on-year growth, is continuing its accelerated run in 2023 and the monthly average sales of 44,963 units reflect that.

    Tata Motors Sales FY 2023
    April 202241,58725,09516,49266%
    May 202243,34115,18128,160186%
    June 202245,19724,11021,08787%
    July 202247,50530,18517,32057%
    August 202247,16628,01819,14868%
    September 202247,65425,73021,92485%
    October 202245,21733,92511,29233%
    November 202246,03729,77826,25955%
    December 202240,04335,2994,74413%
    January 202347,98740,7777,21018%
    February 202342,86239,9812,8817%

    The company, which retails seven PVs – Altroz, Tigor, Tiago, Nexon, Punch, Harrier and the Safari – has capitalised on surging demand for its SUVs and is also benefitting from the market advantage in EVs where it has a commanding 80 percent share. With the Nexon EV, Tigor EV and Xpres-T (for fleet buyers) and the sub-Rs 10 lakh Tiago EV, the company is driving home the gains. And it has already introduced its BS6 Phase II range of PVs with RDE (Real Driving Emissions) and E20-compliant engines ahead of the new set of emission norms kicking in from April 2023.

    Mahindra - 30,358 units/ up 10 percent YoY

    Mahindra reported total PV sales of 30,358 units in February 2023, up 10 percent (February 2022: 27,663). This comprises 30,221 UVs, up 10 percent (February 2022: 27,551) and 137 cars, up 22 percent (February 2022: 112).

    The numbers, particularly for UVs, would have higher considering production has been somewhat impacted due to disruptions in the supply chain of crash sensors and airbag ECUs due to the unavailability of semiconductors.

    Mahindra Sales FY2023
    April 202222,52618,2854,24123%
    May 202226,9048,00418,900236%
    June 202226,88016,9139,96759%
    July 202228,05321,0467,00733%
    August 202229,85215,97313,87987%
    September 202234,50813,13421,374163%
    October 202232,29820,13012,16860%
    November 202230,39219,45810,93456%
    December 202228,44517,72210,73261%
    January 202333,04019,96413,07665%
    February 202330,35827,6632,69510%

    Despite this, Mahindra, which has 10 products in this segment and a considerable order backlog, is recording strong gains. Cumulative sales for the first 11 months of financial year 2023 are 3,23,256 units, which constitutes a robust 63 percent YoY growth (April 2021-February 2022: 1,98,292). Of this, UVs comprise 3,20,985 units, which is a 64 percent YoY increase over the year-ago 1,96,302 units.

    Meanwhile, with one month left for financial year 2023 to close, Mahindra has already clocked its best-ever sales for a fiscal. Its 3,23,256 units are already 68,905 units ahead of the company's previous best of 2,54,351 units in financial year 2019. 

    Kia - 24,600 units/ up 36 percent YoY

    With wholesales of 24,600 units in February, up 36 percent (February 2022: 18,121 units), Kia is and maintaining strong growth momentum. Cumulative 11-month sales are 2,47,728 units, up 51 percent YoY (April 2021-February 2022: 1,64,165 units). With one month left for financial year 2023 to close, Kia India has already notched its best-ever fiscal year numbers, having gone ahead of financial year 2023’s 1,86,787 units. 

    Kia Sales FY2023
    April 202219,01916,1112,90818%
    May 202218,71811,0507,66869%
    June 202224,02415,0159,00960%
    July 202222,02215,0167,00647%
    August 202222,322167505,57233%
    September 202225,85714,44111,41679%
    October 202223,32316,3316,99243%
    November 202224,02514,2149,81169%
    December 202215,1847,7977,38795%
    January 202328,63419,3199,31548%
    February 202324,60018,1216,47936%

    Interestingly, the Sonet compact SUV is the bestselling Kia product in February with 9,836 units, ahead of the longstanding best-seller the Seltos (8,012 units). This is possibly the first time that the Sonet has outsold its high-selling midsize sibling SUV in the Indian market. 

    Meanwhile, the Carens MPV clocked sales of 6,248 units and the Carnival MPV sold 504 units. The Carens MPV is fast turning out to be the new growth driver for Kia India. Launched a year ago, the Carens has sold a total of 76,904 units till end-February 2023 including 64,212 units in the April 2022-February 2023 period.

    Toyota - 15,338 units/ up 75 pecent YoY

    For Toyota, the 15,338 units in February 2023 are a 75 percent increase over February 2022’s 8,745 units and a 19.50 percent improvement on January 2023’s 12,835 units. Cumulative sales for the first 11 months of financial year 2023 are 1,54,855 units, bettering the year-ago 1,06,632 units by 45 percent. Leading this growth are the recently launched Urban Cruiser Hyryder and the Innova Hycross

    Toyota Sales FY2023
    April 202214,7779,6215,15654%
    May 202210,1517079,4441336%
    June 202216,4958,7987,69787%
    July 202219,69113,1036,59950%
    August 202214,93912,7692,17017%
    September 202215,3769,2846,09266%
    October 202213,06812,4406285%
    November 202211,76513,003-1,238-10%
    December 202210,42110,834-413-4%
    January 202312,8347,3285,50675%
    February 202315,3388,7456,59375%

    Honda: 6,086 units/ down 15 percent YoY

    Honda, which launched the updated City sedan, reported sales of 6,086 units, down 15 percent (February 2022: 7,187 units). Commenting on the market performance, Yuichi Murata, Director, Marketing and Sales, Honda said, “Our sales performance in February 2023 has been as per our plan towards seamless transition of our models to new emission norms. We are currently gearing up for the launch of the New City, and we are confident that it will generate new excitement and appealing options for customers.”

    In the first 11 months of financial year 2023, the company has sold a total of 84,726 units, which is a 7 percent YoY increase.

    Honda Sales 2023
    April 20227,8749,122-1,248-14%
    May 20228,1882,0326,156303%
    June 20227,8344,7673,06764%
    July 20226,7846,05572912%
    August 20227,76911,177-3,408-30%
    September 20228,7146,7651,94929%
    October 20229,5438,1081,43518%
    November 20227,0515,4571,59429%
    December 20227,0627,973-911-11%
    January 20237,82110,427-2,606-25%
    February 20236,8067,187-1,101-15%

    MG - 4,193 units/ down 7 percent YoY

    MG Motor India’s retail sales of 4,193 units in February 2023 were down 7 percent (February 2022: 4,528 units). Cumulative sales for the first 11 months of financial year 2023 are 42,815 units, up 20 percent YoY (April 2021-February 2022: 35,648 units).

    This also means that with one month left for FY2023 to close, MG has already clocked its best-yet sales for a fiscal year, well ahead of FY2022’s 40,369 units, which were a 13.40 percent increase of FY2021’s 35,597 units. In FY2020, the carmaker had sold a total of 21,954 units.

    MG Sales FY 2023
    April 20222,0082,565-557-22%
    May 20224,0081,0162,992294%
    June 20224,5033,55894527%
    July 20224,0134,225-212-5%
    August 20223,8234,315-492-11%
    September 20223,8083,24156717%
    October 20224,3672,8631,50453%
    November 20224,0792,4811,59864%
    December 20223,8992,5501,34953%
    January 20234,1144,306-192-4%
    February 20234,1934,528-335-7%

    According to the company, while bookings for the Next-Gen Hector are positive, the supply situation of select variants remains impacted. It is currently focused on ramping up the production of its premium SUV, the MG Gloster.

    The Indian passenger vehicle market is set to expand with around 10 new car and SUVs launches happening soon, starting with the facelifted Honda City today. Not surprisingly, these include seven SUVs – Toyota Innova Crysta Diesel, Maruti Brezza CNG, updated Hyundai Venue, Lexus RX, Maruti Fronx and the updated Tata Safari and Harrier. There will also be one hatchback – Citroen India’s eC3, the all-electric version of the C3, and the next-gen Hyundai Verna. Clearly, plenty of new wheels to keep the PV segment an exciting one in the months ahead.

    Image source

    Also see:

    Bajaj and Hero MotoCorp post double digit sales growth in Feb 2023

    Every new car, SUV launching in the coming months

    Maruti Suzuki Cars

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