Buoyed by the festive season, an uptick in demand for SUVs (sports utility vehicles) and an increase in the production capacity, the domestic automobile wholesales stood at a record-high of 3,60,897 units in August this year, up 9.7% year-on-year as against 3,26,980 units in the same period last year. The automobile industry previously achieved this feat in September 2022 when the industry clocked 3,55,000 units in sales.

The domestic automobile retail sales stood at 3,43,000 units during the month under review, up 7.3% vis-a-vis 3,19,800 units in the same period last year.

“We have seen a continued good demand in the industry. The festive season that started in Kerala with the Onam celebration has seen a positive growth of 25% in Kerala. Automakers have introduced a lot of new models in the SUV segment. So the introduction of new models in the fast-growing SUV segment has helped Maruti Suzuki in a big way,” says Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki.

“We have seen overall economy being high. The correlation between economic growth and GDP growth is quite high at .983. We saw good economic growth and hence the uptick in sales We saw an uptick in production as well because the semiconductor shortage is behind us. The production level has gone up since July,” he adds.

According to Srivastava, the industry has a stock of 2,93,300 units for 30 days. 

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest automobile manufacturer, clocked 1,89,082 units in domestic sales, witnessing a growth of 14.4% YoY as against 1,65,173 units in the same period last year. The company’s passenger vehicle sales stood at 1,56,114 units during the month under review as against 1,34,166 units in the same period last year. The company continued to helm the SUV segment for the second straight month with sales of 41,658 units. According to Srivastava, SUV sales contributed 48.6% of total car sales in the industry.

This was followed by Hyundai Motors India Limited, which sold 71,435 units of passenger vehicles in August this year, up 14.82% YOY, as against 62,210 units in the same period last year. “The festival season in India has kicked off on a positive note with strong Onam sales in Kerala market and this is an indication of the festive fervour in other parts of the country in the coming months. Demand for SUVs in our portfolio remains robust, contributing more than 60% to our Domestic sales in August,” says Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai Motor India.

Mahindra & Mahindra continued to retain the second position in the SUV segment by selling the highest-ever 37,370 units during the month under review, up 26% YoY as against 29,516 units in the same period last year. “We are excited to witness another record month, as we clocked our highest-ever SUV domestic sales of 37,270 in a month with a growth of 26%. We also registered an overall growth of 19% for the month of August. While demand for our key SUV brands continues to be strong, we are keeping a close watch on the availability of semi-conductors and select parts, for sustained and smooth scaleup,” says Veejay Nakra, President, the automotive division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors led the electric vehicle sales in India by selling 6,236 units during the month under review. The company’s passenger vehicle sales, however, declined by 3% YoY to 45,933 units as against 47,351 units in the same period last year.

Notably, Toyota Kirloskar Motor reported the highest overall sales of 22,910 units in August this year, up 53%, as against 14,959 units in the same period last year.

The industry anticipates the sales number to grow stronger with the upcoming festive season. Srivastava says that the festive season contributes to 23% to 26% of the total automobile sales. 

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