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September car sales highest ever in India at 3.5 lakh units | Autocar India

The top three carmakers account for close to 2.5 lakh units or 68 percent of the sales.

Passenger vehicle sales in India, which had slumped over the past two years, have finally recovered to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, September 2022 wholesale numbers have set a new monthly benchmark – 3,55,946 units – which constitutes a 26 percent month-on-month growth (August 2022: 2,81,210).

September 2022’s record wholesale figure is better than July 2022’s 3,41,370 units by 4 percent, October 2020’s 3,34,411 units by 6.5 percent, and March 2021’s 3,16,034 units by 12 percent. Comparing last month’s sales to September sales from the last two years, 2022’s record tally is a 121 percent increase over September 2021’s 1,60,070 units and 30 percent over September 2020’s 2,72,027 units.

September 2022 Passenger Car sales
Carmaker Sept’ 2022 Sept’ 2021 Y-o-Y Growth Difference
Maruti Suzuki 1,48,380 63,111 135% 85,269
Hyundai 49,700 33,087 50% 16,613
Tata 47,654 25,729 85% 21,925
Mahindra 34,508 13,134 163% 21,374
Kia 25,857 14,441 79% 11,416
Toyota 15,378 9,284 66% 6,094
Honda 8,714 6,765 29% 1,949
Volkswagen 4,103 2,421 69% 1,682
MG 3,808 3,241 18% 567
Skoda 3,543 3,027 126% 516
Nissan 3,117 2,816 9% 361

Confirming the best-ever monthly sales, Vinkesh Gulati, chairman of FADA India Research & Academy tweeted: “Car dispatches to dealers crossed 3.5 lakh in September 2022. It should be the best month for PV segment ever!”

A number of growth-enhancing factors have led to the record wholesale figures, including the easing semiconductor supply chain issue, increased vehicle production, increased supplies to dealers as production ramps up, and strong customer demand due to the ongoing festive season.

Here’s looking at 11 of 16 car manufacturers wholesale figures – totalling 3,44,822 units – last month. Five carmakers – Renault India, FCA India, PCA Motors India, Force Motors and Isuzu Motor India – have yet to release their September 2022 sales. These manufacturers account for the balance 11,124 units, and, in August 2022, they had accounted for 9,235 units.

Maruti Suzuki India: 1,48,380 units / 135% YoY

The passenger vehicle market leader reported its best monthly sales in the first six months of the ongoing fiscal year. Maruti Suzuki’s September 2022 wholesale of 1,48,380 units, depict a 135 percent growth over the same month last year, although that was on a lower September 2021 figure of 63,111 units. Due to a massive shortage of semiconductors, Maruti Suzuki had slashed production by 60 percent in September 2021, which in turn, led to a 57 percent year on year decline in sales.

While it wouldn’t be correct to compare it with last year’s growth, a comparison with August 2022 offers more clarity. In September 2022, the entry level duo of the Alto and S Presso account for 29,574 units, up 33 percent (August 2022: 22,162 units). Its six-pack comprising the Baleno, Celerio, Dzire (and Tour S), Ignis, Swift and Wagon R contributed 72,176 units, which is just 0.86 percent higher than August 2022’s 71,557 units.

The new Brezza, Ertiga, S Cross, XL6 and the new Grand Vitara contributed 32,574 units, up 21 percent on August 2022’s 26,932 units. This strong double-digit growth can be attributed to the demand for the new Grand Vitara and Brezza.

Hyundai Motor India: 49,700 units / 50% YoY

Chennai-based Hyundai Motor India, with 49,700 units, recorded a strong 50 percent growth over last year (September 2021: 33,087). Demand remains robust for flagship SUV, the Tucson, which, according to Tarun Garg, director (Sales, Marketing & Service), has seen a 36 percent increase in bookings in September. Meanwhile, the Venue, Venue N Line and Tucson are said to have received “unprecedented customer response.”

Tata Motors: 47,654 units / 85% YoY

Tata Motors, which is on a roll, is just 2,964 units behind Hyundai, and it is only a matter of time before the company surpasses the 50,000 monthly sales milestone.

Tata Motors, which grabbed headlines with the reveal of its Tiago EV at a sub-Rs 10 lakh price last week, has notched its best-ever monthly sales yet. The carmaker’s 47,654 units in September 2022 beats its previous best of 47,505 units in July 2022 by 149 units. The September numbers, which comprise 43,999 units of the internal combustion-engined cars – the monthly highest – and 3,655 electric vehicles, is a robust 85 percent growth over September 2021’s 25,729 units.

In the first half of this financial year, Tata Motors’ cumulative sales figures are 2,72,450 units, which is an 84 percent increase over the same period last year (April-September 2021: 1,48,319). The company also recorded a 73 percent increase over its annual sales of 3,73,138 units in the April 2021-March 2022 period. Q2 FY2023 (July-September 2022) numbers at 1,42,325 units are up 9.37 percent over Q1’s (April-June 2022) 1,20,842 units, indicating that consumer demand is accelerating for the company.

Tata Motors has a strong advantage with its EV portfolio, and at present, Tata sells three models – the Nexon EV, Tigor EV and the fleet-only XPres-T EV – which with H1 FY2023 sales of 20,805 units is a 370 percent increase over last year (H1 FY2022: 4,419 EVs).

The company, which is targetting production and sales of over 5,00,000 cars, including 50,000 EVs, is well on track towards achieving its goal. In the first half of FY2023, average monthly sales of 45,408 units – 41,940 ICE and 3,468 EVs – augur well for the rest of the year.

Mahindra & Mahindra: 34,508 units / 163% YoY

Mahindra & Mahindra, whose utility vehicle (UV)-laden portfolio comprises of 11 UVs and the all-electric Verito sedan, is among the manufacturers benefitting from the surging wave of demand for SUVs in India. Therefore, it is not surprising that the company continues to post record numbers month after month. In September 2022, it registered wholesales of 34,508 units, up 163 percent over last year’s 13,134 units.

On the UV front, the company has sold 34,262 units in September 2022, which makes it the third consecutive month that the company has scaled a new high in its UV sales, after August 2022’s 29,519 units and July 2022’s 27,854 units.

Our sister publication Autocar Professional learns that the bestselling model is the flagship XUV700, followed by the Scorpio, both in its N and Classic model form, the XUV300, the Bolero and Bolero Neo. With improved supplies of semiconductors and M&M judiciously managing its production operations, it is expected that the waiting periods for most high-selling SUVs will come down.

Six months into the fiscal, M&M has sold a total of 1,67,052 UVs, which makes for an 82 percent growth (H1 FY2022: 92,016 units). This total is already 75 percent of the company’s total sales of 2,23,682 UVs in FY2022, which was its best ever. Given the strong market momentum, the unabating demand for SUVs and safer vehicles, M&M could be headed to hit the 3,50,000 UV sales mark for the first time in FY2023.

Kia India: 25,857 units / 79% YoY

Kia India has reported its highest-ever monthly sales of 25,857 units, which is a 79 percent growth over last year’s sales of 14,441 units, and betters June 2022’s 24,024 units. Kia’s bestseller remains the Seltos midsize SUV with 11,000 units, followed by the Sonet compact SUV with 9,251 units. The recently launched Carens MPV, with 5,233 units, is reflecting strong customer demand, while the Carnival MPV sold 333 units last month.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor: 15,378 units / 66% YoY

Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported despatches of 15,378 units in September 2022. This constitutes a 66 percent year-on-year growth (September 2021: 9,284 units), and a month-on-month growth of 2.80 percent (August 2022: 14,959 units). The company’s cumulative sales for the first six months of FY2023 (April-September 2022) are 91,451 units, up 68 percent over the same period last year (April-September 2021: 54,282 units).

Honda Cars India: 8,714 units / 29%

Honda Cars India (HCIL) has registered wholesale sales of 8,714 units in September, a 29 percent growth over September 2021’s 6,765 units. The carmaker, which launched the strong hybrid City eHEV sedan at Rs 19.49 lakh in India in May, is positive of demand increasing this festive season.

Honda Cars India continues to rely on the City and Amaze compact sedan as its two bread-and-butter models in India. It will likely introduce a brand-new compact SUV – codename 3US – by March 2023.

Volkswagen India: 4,103 units / 69% YoY

Volkswagen passenger cars India despatched 4,103 units in September 2022, up 69 percent on the year-ago 1,682 units. The company is seeing a resurgence of demand thanks to the Taigun midsize SUV and the recently launched Virtus sedan.

MG Motor India: 3,808 units / 17.5%

MG Motor India has reported retail sales of 3,808 units in September 2022, up 17.5 percent (September 2021: 3,241). Cumulative sales for the first six months of FY2023 (April-September 2022) are 22,163 units, which is 17 percent over April-September 2021’s 18,920 units.

The company, which launched the mildly updated Gloster SUV a month ago at Rs 31.99 lakh, says the model has “received an encouraging response.” Meanwhile, the all-new ZS EV has also performed well, and its “retail numbers are highest in this year so far”, albeit specific numbers have not been released.

MG Motor India is among the automakers which continues to be impacted by supply chain constraints and has a waiting period between three to six months across some models, is currently able to supply only the Astor MT model for the time being. The company though “is hopeful about commencing deliveries of the Astor automatic variants soon.”

Skoda Auto India: 3,543 units / 17% YoY

Skoda Auto India has reported wholesales of 3,543 units in September 2022, up 17 percent (September 2021: 3,027). Month-on-month, September 2022 sales are down 19 percent on August 2022’s 4,222 units.

For the first six months of FY2023, Skoda’s cumulative sales of 27,911 units are a 126 percent increase year on year (April-September: 12,347 units). This can be credited to a strong market demand for its two new models – the Kushaq SUV and the Slavia sedan.

Nissan Motor India: 3,177 units / 9%

Nissan Motor India reported despatches of 3,177 units in the domestic market and export of 4,088 units.

Growth outlook: SUV-charged sales headed for record FY2023

September 2022’s record sales can only spell good news for the Indian car industry, and for the overall automotive industry, as the benefits percolate to several ancillary sectors. Importantly, despite the overall recessionary trends in India, and globally, consumers are making a beeline for the best deals in a market thronging with new models and scores of variants, available at multiple price-points.

The surging demand for SUVs, which now account for nearly one out of every two cars sold in India, is reflected in the market. While the compact SUV segment remains high on the consumer’s radar, the growing demand for midsize SUVs is apparent, along with an uptick for executive sedans.

With cumulative April-September 2022 sales crossing the 1.84 million mark, and the market momentum being strong in the coming six months of FY2023, Indian manufacturers could be looking at their best-ever annual sales of over 3.5 million units.

Also read:

Government may reduce tax rates on hybrid vehicles



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