New Delhi- Leading automakers Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai and Tata Motors reported a double-digit increase in dispatches to dealers in April as the demand remained robust especially for the sports utility vehicles.
The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said its domestic passenger vehicle wholesales rose 13 per cent to 1,37,320 units last month as against 1,21,995 units in April 2022.
Sales of mini cars, comprising Alto and S-Presso, fell 18 per cent to 14,110 units as compared with 17,137 units a year ago.
However, sales in the compact segment, including models such as Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, rose 27 per cent to 74,935 units as against 59,184 cars in April 2022.
The auto major said its utility vehicle sales, comprising Brezza, Grand Vitara and Ertiga, also rose 8 per cent year-on-year to 36,754 units.
In a virtual press conference, MSI Senior Executive Officer (Marketing & Sales) Shashank Srivastava said the company witnessed some production loss last month owing to chip shortage.
”We were constrained in many ways by the semiconductor issue and we lost some volume, especially in Brezza, Grand Vitara, and the Ertiga,” he added.
He, however, noted that the company’s market share in the sports utility segment (SUV) rose to 21 per cent in April from around 12.6 per cent a year ago.
Srivastava noted that the overall SUV segment last month accounted for over 47 per cent of the total passenger vehicle sales.
Replying to a query, he said that the auto major is aiming to make its sales network Nexa to be number two player in PV sales.
The company is targeting to sell 6 lakh vehicles this year through the network, he added.
On the current market situation, he said that while the enquiries have remained robust, there was a slight fall in the actual car bookings.
”Going forward, there seem to be certain red flags like inflation, rural sentiment..so it is a bag of mixed sentiments,” he noted.
In April, the overall passenger vehicle industry wholesales rose 13 per cent to 3.31 lakh units last month as compared with 2.93 lakh units in April 2022.
However, the retail sales stood at 2.86 lakh units against 2.75 lakh units in April last year.
So, the retail growth was muted at around 3.5 per cent, Srivastava said.
”The industry retail was 2.86 lakh (units) and the wholesale was 3.31 lakh (units) which means that there was an increase in the network stock in the industry and the industry network stock has increased from 2.04 lakh units at the beginning of the month to 2.51 lakh units now,” he added.
Retail was bit low in April due to many reasons, including some pre-buying because of the new emission norms — BSVI second phase, and also because some people had brought the vehicles invoiced a little earlier in March, Srivastava said.
Hyundai Motor India reported a 13 per cent increase in domestic wholesales at 49,701 units last month as compared with 44,001 units in the year-ago period.
”This strong growth has been backed by an overwhelming response to the recently launched all-new Verna that has more than doubled its volumes from its earlier version,” Hyundai Motor India COO Tarun Garg said in a statement.
The automaker looks to carry forward this momentum with a soon-to-be-launched SUV, Hyundai Exter, he added.
Tata Motors said its passenger vehicle wholesales in the domestic market stood at 47,007 units in April, up 13 per cent, from 41,587 units in April 2022.
Kia India reported a 22 per cent rise in domestic dispatches in April at 23,216 units.
The company had dispatched 19,019 units to dealers in the same month last year.
”In less than four years, we have not only established ourselves as a leading premium automotive company but also emerged as a popular new-age brand. Our seven lakh-plus customers have entrusted us with a lot of faith,” Kia India National Head (Sales & Marketing) Hardeep Singh Brar said.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor said its wholesales declined by 6 per cent year-on-year to 14,162 units in April, owing to a week-long maintenance shutdown during the month.
”The company is continuing to witness high demand as well as good enquiries, and needless to say we are extremely thrilled to see the market responding very positively,” Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice President, Sales and Strategic Marketing Atul Sood said in a statement.
The Hilux, Innova Hycross and the new Innova Crysta continue their phenomenal run as strong demand continues, he added.
”Our SUV segment share also continues to be buoyant owing to the success of the Urban Cruiser Hyryder along with segment leadership of the Fortuner and the Legender, which are consistently leading with over 82 per cent market share in Q1 of CY 2023,” Sood stated.
Nissan Motor India said its domestic wholesales increased a 24 per cent year-on-year to 2,617 units in April.
MG Motor India reported an over two-fold rise in retail sales at 4,551 units last month as compared to the corresponding month last year.
Icra Ltd Vice President & Sector Head – Corporate Ratings Rohan Kanwar Gupta said the wholesale dispatches of passenger vehicles continued to remain at healthy levels in April 2023, aided by robust order books across OEMs (Orginal Equipment Manufacturers) and steady demand, even as there continue to be concerns regarding moderation in demand on account of the rise in the cost of ownership.