Maruti Suzuki: New SUVs take August car sales to record levels

Mumbai: Passenger vehicle sales in India rose to a new monthly record in August, fuelled by launches in the SUV segment and improved production ahead of the festive season that started with Onam last month.

Automakers are estimated to have dispatched 368,897 units in August as compared to 326,980 units a year earlier, an increase of 12.8%.

August was the eighth month in a row when car dispatches to dealers have been more than 300,000 units, as buyers have been lapping up new models amid strong economic growth. India’s economy advanced 7.8% in the first quarter of the ongoing financial year, according to data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Thursday.

“The August sales surpass the previous high of 355,400 units reported in September 2022, making it the highest ever monthly sales not just for August, but for any month in any year in the industry,” Shashank Srivastava, senior executive, sales and marketing, at car market leader Maruti Suzuki India said, addressing reporters after the release of the monthly sales data.

ET Bureau

Maruti led the growth in the domestic market. Launch of multiple new models in the SUV segment jacked up domestic sales at the firm by 16.4% from a year earlier to 156,114 units. Total sales volume for the Suzuki Motor unit — including exports and sales to alliance partner Toyota Kirloskar — rose to a record at 189,082 units against last year’s 165,173 units.However, sales of the company’s entry-level models that include the Alto and S-Presso fell 45% to 2,209 units. Maruti’s SUV sales during the month was 41,658 against Mahindra & Mahindra’s 37,223 units. It helped the company retain the top position in the SUV segment. “Our long-term cherished target of being number one in SUV is on track,” said Srivastava.Sales at Hyundai Motor India increased 8.7% year-on-year to 53,870 units. “The festival season in India has kicked-off on a positive note with strong Onam sales in the Kerala market and this is an indication of the festive fervour in other parts of the country in the coming months,” said Tarun Garg, chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor India. SUVs contributed more than 60% to the company’s domestic sales. Its recently launched Exter SUV has got over 65,000 bookings, he said.

After a steady climb for over a year, domestic sales at Tata Motors dropped 3.5% to 45,513 units. The first decline in 37 months came amid increased competitive intensity in the market. The company plans to launch a raft of new model-refreshes and variants in the coming months to retain the volume run of the past months.

Mahindra & Mahindra in August reported SUV sales of 37,270 units, up 26% on year and a record for the company. While demand for its key SUV brands continued to be strong, the company is keeping a close watch on the availability of semiconductors and select parts for a sustained and smooth scaleup, Veejay Nakra, Mahindra’s president for the automotive division.


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