passenger vehicle sales: Cars and utility vehicles: 4,000,000 PV sales ride to a record high in 2023

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New Delhi: Sales of cars and utility vehicles posted strong growth last month, helping the 2023 volume to top 4 million units a year for the first time. As per industry estimates, about 4.1 million passenger vehicles were sold in the local market in the last calendar year, an increase of around 8.2% compared with sales of 3.79 million units in 2022.

Last month, carmakers reported a 4.4% rise in dispatches from factories at 287,904 units, the highest on record for December. Retail sales were substantially higher at 442,800 units, according to industry estimates, helping bring stocks down. The industry started the new year with an inventory of 176,500 units.

Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer (marketing and sales) at market leader Maruti Suzuki, said 2023 was a “phenomenal year” for the industry with sales breaking previous records every month through December. “Sales were driven by a strong increase in demand for SUVs, which now account for nearly half of all vehicles sold in the domestic market,” Srivastava said.

Maruti Suzuki – which registered cumulative sales (domestic and exports) of more than 2 million units for the first time in 2023 – has a share of over 20% in the SUV segment.

The company’s sales declined by 6.9% to 104,778 units in December, when it undertook an annual maintenance shutdown. For the year, sales rose 9% and the Suzuki Motor unit ended the year with a market share of about 42%.Tarun Garg, COO at rival Hyundai Motor India, expects the strong traction for SUVs in the local market to help increase its share in overall sales in the upcoming year. “We expect SUVs to contribute 52-53% to overall volumes this year. At Hyundai, the share of SUVs in overall sales will be higher at about 65%,” he added.Hyundai Motor India reported 9% growth in 2023, selling 602,011 units – a record for the company.

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