Driven by strong demand for its sports utility vehicles, Mahindra & Mahindra on Monday reported the highest ever monthly wholesales of 64,486 vehicles in September, a two-fold jump as compared with the year-ago period.
The Mumbai-based auto major dispatched a total of 28,112 passenger and commercial vehicles in domestic and international markets in September 2021.
Last month, the company posted its highest ever monthly sales of sports utility vehicles (SUV) at 34,262 units, a two-fold jump as compared with 12,863 units in September 2021.
In an interaction with PTI, Mahindra & Mahindra President (Automotive Division) Veejay Nakra said, September turned out to be a record month for the company in terms of overall volumes as well as the SUV dispatches.
He noted that the overall popularity of SUVs along with robust demand for the company's latest products led to the record dispatches for the automaker last month.
"Even in the thick of COVID-19, while the passenger vehicle industry had declined, SUVs had reported a single-digit growth. Last year also, the segment grew well and this year it has shown a growth of around 40 per cent. So SUVs continue to be the strongest growing segment in the overall passenger vehicle industry," Nakra said.
The company's products like Scorpio-N, XUV700, Thar, Bolero Neo and even Scorpio Classic have seen robust response in the market, he stated.
"We have had some blockbuster product launches in the last few years..the company has a very strong order book of over 2.6 lakh open bookings..so overall it is the combination of huge growth of the industry (SUVs), coupled with our ability to launch some blockbuster products last year," Nakra stated.
When asked about chip supplies, he noted that from an industry perspective, all OEMs are managing their supply chains, especially semiconductors in a relatively better way as compared with last year.
"There have been a host of actions like alternate sourcing from open markets, whether bringing new suppliers or re-engineering the products..so various things have been attempted," Nakra said.
He added that despite all these steps, there is still a structural gap between demand and supply of automotive-grade semiconductors, which is going to stay for some time.
"I think while the worst is behind us, the reality is we are going to need to manage this still going forward," Nakra stated.
When asked if the improved supplies would help the company reduce waiting periods on models like Scorpio and XUV700, he said: "That is our top priority and the biggest challenge that we are all working on. But the reality is every month we do continue to get higher bookings than what we can supply.
"Brands like Scorpio-N, Scorpio Classic, some of these brands we continue to get higher bookings than we can supply."
On business outlook, Nakra said despite some headwinds like rising interest rates and less rains in certain states, the overall demand is expected to remain robust.