Mrunal Manmay Dash

Driven by feverish demand for sports utility vehicles (SUVs), passenger vehicle sales in the country have reached a record high of 41.08 lakh units in 2023, up 8.3% year-on-year, with most car makers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor India, Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar posting their best ever year.

According to Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer- Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India, the record sales were led by the demand for SUVs, which now accounts for 49% of the PV industry in India, up from 42% in the previous year.

Nearly half of all passenger vehicles (PVs) going from the assembly line to dealers were SUVs, which means more Indians are gravitating towards cars costing Rs 10 lakh or more.

“This is the first time ever in a calendar year that Maruti Suzuki’s total sales exceeded 2 million units. This was also the highest ever rural sales at 7.76 lakh and highest ever pre-owned car sales at 4.68 lakh,” Srivastava said, adding the company’s premium retail outlet NEXA also clocked its best-ever annual sales at more than 5 lakh units. He said that the contribution of SUVs to the overall PV sales is likely to saturate at around 50-55%, going forward.

Similarly, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles Ltd managing director Shailesh Chandra said “For Tata Motors, 2023 was the third consecutive year of posting highest ever sales of around 5.53 lakh units led by its commanding position in the compact SUV segment and strong growth in hatches, despite the hatch segment de-growing at an industry level.”

On the industry crossing the significant 4 million mark, he said it has been “supported by a strong supply situation, new models launched in the SUV segment, and a robust demand during the longer festive period.”