Passenger vehicle wholesales crossed the 4 million mark in the financial year 2023-24, making India the world's third-largest car market in terms of volumes after the U.S. and China.

Wholesales grew 8.7% year-on-year to 42.3 lakh units in FY24 compared with 38.9 lakh units in the previous fiscal, according to a top industry executive.

India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki reported the highest-ever sales in the year ended March 31, 2024, clocking 17,93,644 units in FY24 as against 16,44,876 units in FY23. It crossed the 2 million sales mark including exports and sales to other OEMs.

Car sales were driven by robust demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) which contributed 50.4% to total passenger vehicle sales in FY24, says Shashank Srivastava, executive committee member, Maruti Suzuki. The SUV segment grew 28% year-on-year in FY24 while sales of hatchbacks and sedans declined 12% and 6% respectively.

Retail sales for the fiscal stood at 41.3 lakh, thus taking the inventory levels to 3,09,000 units at the end of March 2024 as against stock levels of 2,10,000 in April 2023.

Wholesales in March grew 10% to 3,70,381 units. Retail sales, however, were muted than wholesales at 3.6 lakh units last month as against 3.5 lakh units in March 2023.

Maruti Suzuki’s wholesales grew 15% in March to 152,718 as against 132,763 units in the same month last year. The carmaker cornered 42% market share in passenger vehicles.

Tata Motors reported a 6% rise domestic passenger vehicle sales at 5,70,955 units in FY24 compared with 5,38,640 units in FY23. In March, the Tata Group company clocked a 14% rise in sales with 50,110 units.

Passenger vehicle sales in India are projected to set a record in FY24 with over 4.2 million units sold supported by strong growth in SUV sales and rising popularity of emission-friendly powertrains, says Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd. and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility Ltd.

“With sales of cars powered by traditional fuels (petrol and diesel) flattening, almost the entire incremental volume growth of FY24 is expected from rising sales of emission-friendly powertrains. EV and CNG segments are projected to post robust growth of 70% and 55% respectively in FY24 vs FY23, on the back of multiple new launches, growing charging infrastructure and CNG stations, significantly lower operating costs and growing consciousness among customers to be environment friendly,” says Chandra.

“Going forward, we expect the demand for passenger cars to remain strong, although the high base effect may keep the growth rate in single digit. Customers’ rising preference for safe and green vehicles should result in double digit growth for sale of cars with emission-friendly powertrains supported by new launches and a stronger value proposition - emission-friendly, lower total cost of ownership and equipped with smarter features,” he adds.

Mahindra sold 40,631 utility vehicles in the domestic market, a growth of 13% and overall, 41,161 vehicles, including exports.

Honda Cars India Ltd registered monthly domestic sales of 7,071 units in March 2024. The export numbers for HCIL stood at 6,860 units in March 2024.

MG Motor today reported retail sales of 4648 units in March. “The moderation in automobile industry growth, particularly passenger vehicle (PV) sales, evidenced in March, on the back of a delayed festive season and various other factors, should see a gradual positive uptick in the months to come,” the JSW Group-owned carmaker says.

Japanese carmaker Toyota Kirloskar Motor reached a record sales volume of 2,63,512 units in FY24, marking a growth of 48% compared to the preceding year's 1,77,683 units.

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