Passenger vehicles sales in India were at a record high in 2017-18 touching almost 33 lakh, growing at 7.89% driven by demand from smaller towns coupled with increasing popularity of utility vehicles.
According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday, domestic passenger vehicles (PV) sales were at 32,87,965 units beating the previous best of 30,47,582 units posted in 2016-17.
Domestic car sales in 2017-18 were at 21,73,950 units against 21,03,847 units in 2016-17, displaying a growth of 3.33%.
Utility vehicles (UV) sales were at 9,21,780 units last fiscal as against 7,61,998 units in 2016-17, a growth of 20.97%.
However, exports of PVs were down 1.51% at 7,47,287 units in 2017-18 as against 7,58,727 units in 2016-17.
Vehicle sales across categories also registered 14.22% growth at 2,49,72,788 units in 2017-18 against 2,18,63,281 units in the previous fiscal.
"We ended the year on a positive note with almost every segment posting positive growth, except passenger buses. This reinforces the fact that despite having a difficult year, the auto industry has shown its resilience," SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said.
Last fiscal, the auto industry had to endure the lingering effects of demonetisation, impacts of transition from BS-III emission norms to BS-IV across India and implementation of GST in July last year, Mathur said.
A factor that has led to the growth of PV sales in India is the increasing popularity of UVs with more and more consumers opting for such vehicles ahead of compact cars or sedans. In FY18, UV sales accounted for 28% of total PV sales in India, up from 25% in the previous fiscal.
During 2017-18, market leader Maruti Suzuki India sold 16,43,467 units of PVs at a growth of 13.84%. Rival Hyundai Motor India clocked 5,36,241 units, up 5.21%.
Homegrown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra's PV sales were at 2,48,859 units posting a growth of 5.39 units, according to SIAM data.
The other highlights of 2017-18 include record production of passenger vehicle which crossed 40 lakh-mark, while that of utility vehicles passed one million mark, SIAM said.
The year also saw the highest sales and production in passenger car and utility vehicle segments, it added.
Moreover, the year also saw maximum two-wheeler sales at 2.02 crore, while production for the same was also a record at 2.3 crore. Total two-wheeler sales in FY18 stood at 2,01,92,672 units against 1,75,89,738 units in FY17, up 14.8 per cent, SIAM said.
On the outlook, SIAM said PV segment is expected to witness high single digit growth in 2018-19 and due to shift in preferences from large cars. UV segment is also expected to clock strong growth.