Mixed bag for passenger vehicle makers in December

Amid signs of the passenger vehicle industry demand showing some signs of slowdown, with discounts on the rise and weak demand in the entry car segment and re-balancing of growth in 2023 led by deceleration in high growth categories like PVs and improvement in two wheeler demand — as per Nomura analysts — auto industry […]

Amid signs of the passenger vehicle industry demand showing some signs of slowdown, with discounts on the rise and weak demand in the entry car segment and re-balancing of growth in 2023 led by deceleration in high growth categories like PVs and improvement in two wheeler demand — as per Nomura analysts — auto industry sales was a mixed bag in December 2022 with market leader Maruti Suzuki reporting a decline in both domestic sales as well as exports and Tata Motors sustaining its drive upwards. On the flip side, the industry registered its highest ever sales in a calendar year with nearly 38 million dispatches in 2022, surpassing the record of 33.3 million in 2018. 

Hyundai Motor India defied challenges to record its highest-ever domestic sales since its inception of 5,52,511 units in CY 2022 with a growth of 9.4 per cent YoY and a strong export performance with 1,48 300 units with a growth of 13.7 per cent YoY taking the cumulative sales to 700 811 units in CY 2022 with a growth of 10.3 per cent despite strong headwinds in the last few years. “We have continued to challenge existing boundaries and establish new Industry benchmarks with SUVs now contributing to more than 50 per cent of our overall volumes and CRETA registering its highest ever annual sales volume of 140 895 units in CY 22 since its introduction in 2015,” said Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing & Service), Hyundai Motor India. 

However, auto makers have also had to realign targets due to chip shortage which impacted our production throughout the year, as in the case of Honda Cars India, as per Yuichi Murata, Director, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India. With Honda City and Amaze continuing to drive volumes for HCIL, the company has posted strong performance in the year 2022 with monthly domestic sales of 7,062 units in December ’22 and export of 1,388 units. It saw a cumulative growth of 7 per cent by selling 95,022 units in the domestic market during the calendar year 2022 (Jan – December) against 89,152 units in CY 2021. The company also recorded a growth of over 43 per cent in its exports with 23,428 units in CY’2022 against 16,340 units exported in previous year. 

Mahindra & Mahindra which is keeping a close watch on the dynamic supply chain situation due to the continuing international disruptions and increasing coronavirus cases, posted overall auto sales for the month of December 2022 at 56,677 vehicles. In the overall PV segment which includes UVs, cars and vans) M&M sold 28,445 vehicles in December 2022, of which utility vehicles sales were 28,333 units led by continuing interest from customers and strong demand across portfolio in December 2022, according to Veejay Nakra, President of the Automotive Division. “We have seen growth of 61 per cent in our PVs and a 45 per cent overall growth. Exports for the month were at 3,100 vehicles. In the commercial vehicles segment, Mahindra sold 20,080 vehicles in December 2022,” said Nakra. 

The company’s Farm Equipment Sector (FES) saw domestic sales at 21,640 units in December 2022, as against 16,687 units during December 2021, a growth of 30 per cent over last year while the total tractor sales (domestic + exports) during December 2022 were at 23,243 units, as against 18,269 units for the same period last year led by higher Rabi crop sowing, good kharif procurement and likely exports of wheat. 

“The year has been challenging on the supply side but customer interest has been strong specially in the festive period,” says Rakesh Srivastava, Managing Director, Nissan Motor India which drove in cumulative wholesales of 8991 units with a growth at 19 per cent while in December the domestic wholesales stood at 2020 units and export wholesales stood at 6971 units. Nissan Magnite launched in December 2020 continues to be the preferred choice of vehicle in the BSUV segment in India and has registered over one lakh bookings and is exported to over 15 countries. 

Beating the odds Tata Motors registered 10 per cent increase in domestic sales at 72,997 units in December 2022 as compared to 66,307 units in the same month previous year, as per a company statement. Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market stood at 40,043 units last month against 35,299 units in December 2021, a growth of 13.4 per cent. “For Tata Motors passenger vehicles, CY22 has been a momentous year as we outpaced industry growth and crossed the distinctive milestone of 5 lakh units comfortably to post wholesale of 526,798 units,” said Shailesh Chandra, Managing Director of Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility. Its overall sales in the domestic and international market were 2,28,169 units while for Q3FY23, total sales stood at 2,28,169 units growing by 14 per cent over Q3FY22. 

However the country’s largest manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India reported a 9 per cent decline in total wholesales at 1.39 lakh units in December compared with total sales of 1.53 lakh units in the same month in 2021. The shortage of electronic components had some impact on the production of vehicles, mainly in domestic models though the company took all possible measures to minimise the impact, according to a company statement. Sales of UVs as the Brezza, Ertiga, S-Cross, XL6 and Grand Vitara clocked higher sales last month at 33,008 units against 26,982 units in the year-ago period while sales of the compact segment comprising models such as Baleno, Celerio, Dzire, Ignis, Swift, Tour S and WagonR dipped at 57,502 units against 69,345 units in December 2021. 

During the month of December 2022, Toyota Kirloskar Motor sold a flat 10,421 units compared to 10,834 units sold in December 2021 but the calender year performance of the industry reflected the industry’s CY trend with sales of 160,357 units in CY 2022, a growth of 23 per cent over 2021 which had seen sales of 130,768 units. New product launches as well as sales performance has made year 2022 tremendous for TKM, says Atul Sood, Associate Vice President, Sales and Strategic Marketing with models like the Urban Cruiser Hyryder and the Innova Hycross attracting huge traction in terms of demand. 

In the two-wheeler space, Bajaj and Hero reported marginal increases in their domestic sales. Bajaj Auto reported 22 per cent fall in total auto sales to 2,81,486 units in December 2022 as compared with 3,62,470 units sold in December 2021 while TVS Motor reported a healthy 10 per cent increase led by sales of its electric scooter iQube.