Festive demand drives October automobile sales higher

Most automobile companies have seen a strong growth in October


Automobile sales in the country continue to pick up pace, and most automobile companies have seen a strong growth in October in the backdrop of the festive period of Navratri and the upcoming Diwali.

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest car maker, said total sales, including exports, in October were up 19 per cent year-on-year to 1,82,448 units. In the domestic market, the sales were up 20 per cent from a year ago to 172,862 units. The growth was primarily driven by a strong demand for its compact cars like Wagon R, Swift, Baleno and Dzire, which surged 27 per cent.

Its utility vehicle sales also rose 10 per cent. However, sales of its mini cars like Alto and S-Presso were nearly flat and its mid-size sedan Ciaz saw sales plunge 40 per cent.

Elsewhere, the country’s second largest car maker Hyundai Motor said domestic sales in October were highest ever at 56,605 units. Hyundai’s domestic sales last month were 13 per cent higher than a year ago. Exports, though declined 10 per cent to 12,230 units.

“The October month sales performance has set a positive tone for overall business environment and we are confident that Hyundai will continue to strongly contribute towards sustainable growth of economy, community and all its stake holders,” said Tarun Garg, director (sales, marketing and service) at Hyundai.

Hyundai’s Japanese rival Toyota said its wholesales accelerated 52 per cent, month-on-month to 12,373 units in October. When compared year-on-year, Toyota sales last month were up 4 per cent. “The month of October has been our best month so far since March 2020. The festive season has proved to be bullish as we witness demand surging, month-on-month,” said Naveen Soni, senior vice-president of sales and service at Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra’s passenger vehicle sales gained one per cent from a year ago to 18,622 units. Within PVs, utility vehicle sales were up 3 per cent to 18,317 units.

“For Mahindra, the festive season has started on a positive note with deliveries and bookings being higher than last year. Going forward, this augurs well for a robust festive demand, which in turn will help the industry in the short term,” said Veejay Nakra, CEO, automotive division at M&M.

The festive cheer though still seems to be missing from commercial vehicles. While, sales of M&M’s LCVs below two tonnes were down two per cent, sales of LCVs between two tonne to 3.5 tonne slipped 14 per cent and those above 3.5 tonnes and medium and heavy trucks tumbled 37 per cent in October. M&M's three-wheeler CV sales also declined 56 per cent.

Meanwhile, MG Motor, which recently launched the Gloster SUV, said retail sales in October rose six per cent from a year ago (48 per cent from September) to 3,750 units. “We expect continued traction because of Diwali in November and are ramping up supplies to cater to the increasing demand,” said Rakesh Sidana, director, sales, at MG Motor India.

The company, which is a subsidiary of China’s SAIC Motor Corp, said it has received 2,000 bookings for the Gloster; the Hector SUV also saw its highest-ever monthly retail sales last month at 3,625 units, up 50 per cent over September.

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