PV sales on a roll but uncertainty looms ahead

by Mayank Dhingra 03 Apr 2022


India’s passenger vehicle (PV) sales crossed the 3 million unit in FY2022 with cumulative sales of key OEMs touching 3,045,465 units, a 12 percent year-on-year (YoY) uptick over 2,711,457 units clocked in FY2021.

The industry has breached the milestone first time in all of four years. It last hit a tally of 3,377,436 units in FY2018 when the sector was firing on all cylinders. Then came the slowdown which was the result of factors such several price hikes caused among other reasons by the transition to new safety and emission regulations. Then came the covid which further impacted demand.

Maruti Suzuki India’s full-year domestic sales in FY22 closed at 1,331,558 units, but it could only manage a 3 percent YoY uptick over 1,293,840 units sold in FY2021. Despite trebling demand, the company had to cope with a global chip shortage, with its production getting severely impacted and being reduced by up to 51 percent in September last year.

While the situation eventually eased out later, and production returning to 90 percent normalcy in Q4 of FY2022, unpredictability looms large again now due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, and “there could be some impact on production volumes in FY2023 as well”, the company said in a statement.

The second largest contributor to the 3-million milestone was Hyundai which clocked cumulative sales of 481,500 units in FY2022, registering a 2.1 percent YoY uptick compared to 471,535 units sold in previous fiscal. The company too faced severe production challenges last fiscal, with some of its popular models like the Creta and Aura CNG having a wait time of over six months in several cities.

However, if there’s one company that has stolen the limelight from all players in the congested Indian PV space, homegrown manufacturer Tata Motors takes the crown for its magnificent performance in FY2022. The company sold 370,372 units for the entire fiscal – its best-ever so far, registering a 67 percent YoY growth over 222,025 units sold in FY2021. The achievement also includes an accelerated growth for its EV portfolio which went home to 19,106 buyers last fiscal, registering a near-five-fold growth over 4,216 units of EV sales in FY2021.

According to Shailesh Chandra, managing director, Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles and Tata Passenger Electric Mobility, “Tata Motors set several new records in a challenging year which was disrupted by two waves of Covid, semiconductor crisis and steep increase in commodity prices.”

Tata Motors was perhaps able to better navigate through the global chip shortage with more effective supply chain planning, maintain higher inventory and advanced ordering for critical parts, so much so that it pipped the No. 2 carmaker by volumes in December 2021.

With an aggressive SUV-led product portfolio, the company kept a tab on the buyers’ pulse in the market by introducing products like the Punch subcompact crossover in October 2021, while also bringing in revisions to its existing models like the Harrier, Safari and Nexon.

It also ventured into new segments such as the electric category with the all-electric Tigor EV, as well as later introduced factory-fitted CNG option in the Tiago and Tigor. EVs already comprise 5 percent of its FY2022 volumes with more products like an updated Nexon EV with higher range lined for launch in the coming months.

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