Business Standard

SUVS drive auto sales to best January at 394,571

- DEEPAK PATEL New Delhi, 1 February

The Indian auto industry posted its highest ever monthly domestic passenger vehicle (PV) wholesales in January 2024 at 394,571 units, on the back of rising demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVS) and removal of supply constraint­s.

This is 13.9 per cent more than the figure in January 2023.

The previous peak was seen in October 2023, with domestic sales touching 391,811 units during the festival period.

During 2022-23, SUVS accounted for only 43 per cent of the automakers’ total sales.

However, this figure has risen to 50.1 per cent during the Apriljanua­ry period of 2023-24, Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), told Business Standard.“the SUVS’ share has crossed the 50 per cent mark for the first time on a cumulative basis,” he added.

MSIL’S domestic PV sales jumped by 13.2 per cent year-onyear (Y-O-Y) to 166,802 units in January.

Seven of the top 10 best-selling cars in India are from MSIL.

“The wholesales in January were high because the inventory pipeline was depleted.

Wholesales were low but retail sales were higher in December 2023 as auto companies reduced their supply and pushed for retail sales through various promotiona­l (discount) schemes,” Srivastava noted. This happens every December as the consumers don't want previous year's stock with dealers once January has started.

At the beginning of January, the inventory with dealers was 177,000 units. “This has become 263,000 units now because of the gap between wholesales and retail. It is still about 20 days of stock, which is below the usual 30-day level in the market,” Srivastava noted.

Multiple auto companies have announced that they would be hiking car prices.

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