Passenger vehicle sales in the wholesale market surged to a record high of 13.5% year-on-year (YoY) to 3.34 lakh units in May as against 2.94 units in the same period last year, according to the latest data by the industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The passenger vehicle sales in April stood at 3.31 lakh units. Passenger vehicle sales have witnessed consistent growth for five consecutive months, as buyers' sentiments and strong demand picked-up pace.

During the month under review, the total production of passenger vehicles (excluding Tata Motors) stood at 3,45,567 units, higher by 16.4% YoY as against 2,96,841 units in the same period last year. The total production of passenger vehicles (excluding Tata Motors) stood at 3,16,122 units in April. The passenger vehicle domestic sales (excluding Tata Motors) surged by 14.9% YoY at 2,88,369 units in May as against 2,51,051 units in the same period last year. In April, the passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 2,84,271.

The exports of passenger vehicles, however, continued to witness a decline for the second consecutive month. The exports declined by 6.4% to 53,237 units as against 56,888 units in May 2022. In April, the exports stood at 40,899 units.

Maruti Suzuki continued to helm the passenger vehicle segment in May. Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest automobile manufacturer, produced 1,21,684 units of passenger cars and 40,794 units of utility vehicles in May. This is higher than the 1,12,826 units and 36,941 units of passenger cars and utility that the auto heavyweight produced in May 2022. The company continues to dominate the domestic sales in the wholesale market. While in the utility vehicle segment, Maruti Suzuki witnessed a 64.8% surge to 46,243 units, the passenger car domestic sales witnessed a dip by 1.5% to 84,647 units during the month under review.

Mahindra & Mahindra was the second leading automobile manufacturer in the utility vehicle segment. The company produced 30,992 units in May, up 32.6% as against 23,369 units in the same period last year. The company sold 32,883 units of utility vehicles, up 20.9% YoY as against 26,632 units in May 2022.

The production by Korean car maker Hyundai in the passenger car segment inched marginally higher to 25,785 units in May as against 25,750 units in the same period last year. In the utility vehicle segment, the company’s domestic sales grew by 30.2% to 27,728 units in May as against 21,285 units in the same period last year.

"All the segments viz. passenger vehicles, two-wheelers and three-wheelers have posted growth in double digits in May 2023, compared to May 2022. We anticipate this trend to continue supported by the prevailing economic environment. The Indian Automobile Industry is currently in a transition phase with new powertrain technologies offered to consumers ranging from electrified, bio-fuels and gaseous fuel driven vehicles which are being enabled through sound policies of the government," says Vinod Aggarwal, President, SIAM.

In the two-wheeler segment, domestic sales surged by 17.4% to 14,71,550 units as against 12,53,187 units in May 2022. The domestic sales in the three-wheeler segment stood at 48,732 units as against 28,595 units in May 2022.

"Sales of passenger vehicles of May 2023 have been the highest ever in May, returning a growth of 13.5%, compared to May 2022. Two-Wheelers also posted a growth of 17.4% in May 2023, compared to last year, but are still lower than 2016-17 levels. Domestic sales of Three[1]Wheelers in May 2023 grew by 70.4% compared to May 2022, although on a low base, but is still lower than the 2018-19 levels," says Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM.

According to CareEdge Ratings, domestic auto sales are expected to grow 7% to 9% in FY24 owing to robust demand supported by various government initiatives for rural and urban development. 

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