Car sales rise above 300k in Nov for the 6th month in a row


Sales of passenger vehicles in India climbed about a third in November to breach the 300,000 mark for the sixth straight month, reflecting sustained consumer demand despite a steady increase in financing costs.

Industry estimates suggest 322,861 passenger vehicles were sold last month, an increase of 32% on-year. This is the highest ever sales recorded in November.

With the industry sitting on 800,000-900,000 pending orders, passenger vehicle sales should peak at 3.8 million units in 2022. Passenger vehicle makers have already sold 3.5 million vehicles until November 2022, comfortably breaching the previous record of 3.38 million units registered in 2018. Automakers in India mostly report wholesale dispatches from factories and not retail sales to customers.

Industry numbers were buoyed by the top five carmakers that reported double-digit growth in sales last month. At market leader Maruti Suzuki, wholesale volumes rose by over a fifth to 132,395 units. Shortage of electronic components had a minor impact on output, mainly on models sold locally.

Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director (marketing and sales), Maruti Suzuki, said demand parameters remain healthy. Maruti Suzuki has an order backlog for 374,000 units. Tarun Garg, director (sales, marketing & service), Hyundai Motor India, concurred.

“On the back of a strong festive season, we have achieved a high double-digit growth in domestic sales in the last couple of months,” Garg said. “We are well poised to achieve the highest ever domestic sales in 2022 since our inception in India.” Hyundai registered a growth of 30% to sell 48,003 units last month.

Srivastava, however, cautioned, it is important to monitor the impact of inflationary pressures on demand going forward.

“The increase in repo rates announced earlier is now being effected in retail financing. In the passenger vehicle segment, about 80% of sales, and all of inventory is financed,” he said. “We have to closely monitor the demand situation going ahead.”

Veejay Nakra, president (automotive division), Mahindra & Mahindra, added that while the company has seen robust demand across its portfolio in November, the supply chain situation continues to be dynamic due to continuing international disruptions. “We are keeping a close watch and are taking appropriate steps,” he said.

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