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Passenger vehicle sales vroom in September

Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Toyota Kirloskar were among those who posted their best monthly wholesale figures ever, last month.
Last Updated : 01 October 2023, 19:31 IST
Last Updated : 01 October 2023, 19:31 IST

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Passenger vehicle (PV) sales in India rose to record levels in September as automakers dispatched stocks to dealers to cater to the robust demand in the ongoing festive season.

Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Toyota Kirloskar were among those who posted their best monthly wholesale figures ever, last month.

Wholesale figures are the number of vehicles dispatched to dealerships on confirmed sales orders.

The industry’s wholesale dispatches stood at 3,63,733 units in September, the best ever in a month, overtaking last month’s record high of 3,60,700 and up 2.4 per cent from last year’s 3,55,353 units. 

Country’s largest passenger vehicles maker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), on Sunday, reported the highest-ever monthly domestic sales of 1,58,832 units, up 2.5 per cent from 1,54,903 units on a year-on-year basis.

“This is the highest-ever September in any year in the Indian passenger vehicle history. It is also the highest-ever in any month so far,” Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer- Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India, told reporters at a virtual press meet.

Hyundai Motor India said its sales increased 13 per cent year-on-year to 71,641 units in September, its highest-ever in a month. Domestic sales for the country’s second-largest carmaker last month rose to 54,241 units, up 9 per cent from 49,700 units in September 2022.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor also reported that its total sales increased 53 per cent year-on-year to 23,590 units in September. Moreover, the wholesales grew 35 per cent to 1,23,939 units in the first six months of the current fiscal year, compared to 91,843 units in the same period last fiscal.

In addition, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd reported a 17 per cent year-on-year growth in overall auto sales at 75,604 units in September 2023. The industry’s quarterly sales for July-September crossed the 1-million mark at 1,076,983 units. It also witnessed the most successful H1 ever (April-September) with car sales breaching the 2-million mark at 2,072,957, 7 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Interestingly, industry’s domestic PV sales were at an all-time high for nine consecutive months between January and September, breaching the 3-million mark. “We are on course to reach the four-million-plus mark both for the financial year as well as the calendar year,” Srivastava added. 

Growth drivers 

Dispatches rose in September as the dealers prepared for the festive season that kicks in a big way from October 14 and better availability of cars due to chip supplies stabilising, Srivastava reasoned, adding that Ganesh Chaturthi and Janmashtami in the western part of the country and Chingam (Onam month) in Kerala gave the sales a plus.

Experts also attributed this growth to the continued improvement in consumer sentiment.

Overall industry retail sales this month was 3,42,200, against last year’s 3,38,451, registering a rather “muted” growth of 1.1 per cent, said Srivastava, adding that the network stock has gone up to 3,31,162 vehicles, crossing the 30-day period for the first time.

“The only thing that we need to keep in mind is the inventory level that could increase on the dealer’s end because the first 15 days of October is not a very auspicious buying period. There could be a little bit of a squeeze at the dealer end concerning working capital to increase that inventory level. So the industry will have to manage that to a certain extent,” Som Kapoor, Partner, EY India, told DH.

Interestingly, with a market penetration of 44.3 per cent, rural growth (11.7 per cent) fared better than urban (9.08 per cent) in H1FY24. While diesel sales fell to 17.5 per cent, compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle sales went up 14.1 per cent for the industry, EVs stood at 2.4 per cent and hybrids grew 1.7 per cent.  All other segments except SUVs have de-grown. SUVs for the month of September were more than half of the overall market (52 per cent), cumulatively for H1 it stood at 48.3 per cent. Total SUV sales for MSIL so far stood at 2,17,737. 

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Published 01 October 2023, 19:31 IST

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