callToll Free 18001024141

June 2023 Shows a Slump in Car Sales in H1

In a surprising turn of events, June 2023 witnessed the lowest car and SUV sales in the first half of the year in India. With nine out of the 16 mass-market carmakers in the country releasing their wholesale numbers, it became evident that the 3,25,000-unit mark would be breached for the sixth consecutive month. However, cumulative sales from these nine carmakers amounted to only 3,13,360 units, which reflects a 2.47 percent decrease compared to May 2023's figure of 3,21,308 units. Although there was a 6 percent increase in year-on-year (YoY) sales, the overall numbers indicate a downward trend.

June 30, 2023 | 5 min read | Car & Sedans

Furthermore, when considering the sales figures of all 16 carmakers, June 2023 is expected to be the weakest month in the first half of the year. As the monsoon season takes hold and sales typically slow down during the July-August period, it is anticipated that growth will continue at single-digit percentages until the festive season commences in September-October. However, despite the recent decline, the cumulative wholesales for the first six months of 2023 are set to surpass the 2-million mark for the first time ever in India. This milestone is a positive development for the entire automotive ecosystem, following the record wholesale of 3.8 million units and strong double-digit YoY growth of 24 percent in the calendar year 2022.

One of the major players in the Indian automotive market, Maruti Suzuki, reported sales of 1,33,027 units in June 2023, showcasing an 8 percent YoY growth. However, this figure represents a decline of 7.43 percent in comparison to May 2023's sales of 1,43,708 units. Maruti Suzuki has managed to counter the slowdown in the budget hatchback segment by capitalizing on the surging demand for its expanding portfolio of utility vehicles, including compact and midsized SUVs and MPVs. This strategic move is evident in the company's wholesale performance for June 2023.

Surprisingly, while Maruti Suzuki experienced a robust 130 percent YoY growth in the utility vehicle (UV) segment, there was a 17 percent decline YoY in the compact car segment, which comprises popular models such as the Baleno, Swift, and Wagon R hatchbacks. This segment, including the Celerio, Ignis, and Dzire sedan, sold 64,471 units in June 2023, compared to 77,746 units in June 2022.

Maruti Suzuki's focus on increasing its UV market share is apparent in its sales performance for the first six months of 2023. The second quarter of the calendar year, Q2 CY2023, witnessed a 19.29 percent increase in UV sales, with 1,26,401 units sold, compared to Q1 CY2023's sales of 105,957 units. In the first two months of the fiscal year 2024, the company has already elevated its UV market share to 23 percent from 20.53 percent a year ago. With this positive trajectory, Maruti Suzuki is poised to further increase its UV market share, although it may face challenges in terms of sluggish sales for some of its other models.

Hyundai Motor India, another prominent player in the Indian market, reported wholesales of 50,001 units in June 2023, marking a marginal 2 percent YoY growth. While this growth is modest, Hyundai achieved monthly sales of 50,000 units for the third time this year, following previous milestones in January (50,106 units) and March (50,600 units). This achievement contributed to the first-half calendar year sales from January to June 2023, reaching 2,96,010 units and reflecting a YoY growth of 10.46 percent over the same period in 2022 (2,67,967 units). However, when comparing the second quarter (April-June 2023) to the first quarter (January-March 2023), the sales of 1,48,303 units in Q2 only increased by a marginal 0.40 percent.

While Hyundai's midsize SUV, the Creta, continues to lead the segment with 28,635 units sold in April-May 2023 (up 21 percent YoY), the new Verna has also witnessed significant customer demand, with a YoY growth of 238 percent and 7,688 units sold in April-May 2023. Moreover, the compact Venue SUV recorded a YoY growth of 23 percent, selling 20,555 units in the first two months of the fiscal year 2024.

To further expand its market presence, Hyundai plans to launch the Exter mini-SUV on July 10, equipped with petrol and petrol-CNG powertrain options and boasting segment-first features like a sunroof and a dashcam. This move demonstrates Hyundai's determination to capture a share of the growing mini-SUV segment.

Tata Motors, known for its diverse powertrain options spanning petrol, diesel, CNG, and electric, reported wholesales of 47,359 units in June 2023, representing a 5 percent YoY increase compared to June 2022's figure of 45,305 units. This sales performance marks the company's second-best monthly performance in the first half of 2023, with January 2023 recording the highest sales of 48,289 units. Notably, Tata Motors' sales for the first half of CY2023 stand at 2,76,104 units, reflecting a strong YoY growth of 9 percent over the same period in 2022 (2,53,916 units). This figure accounts for 52 percent of the company's record sales in CY2022, which amounted to 5,26,798 units.

Tata Motors' focus on electric vehicles (EVs) has paid off, with its EV portfolio, including the Nexon EV, Tigor EV, and Tiago EV, achieving a new monthly high of 7,025 units in June 2023. This substantial growth has contributed to the second-quarter total of 19,346 units for CY2023, representing a robust YoY growth of 105 percent compared to Q2 CY2022's figure of 9,446 units.

Mahindra, renowned for its strong SUV portfolio, witnessed a significant YoY growth of 21 percent in June 2023, with 32,588 units sold compared to 26,880 units in June 2022. This marks the fourth consecutive month in 2023 that Mahindra's sales have surpassed the 32,000-unit mark, with March 2023 recording the highest monthly sales of 35,997 units. The cumulative sales for the first half of CY2023 reached 1,99,567 units, showcasing a robust YoY growth of 32 percent compared to January-June 2022's figure of 1,51,540 units. These sales account for 59.55 percent of the company's full-year sales in CY2022, which amounted to 3,35,088 units. Mahindra's success can be attributed to the strong demand for its flagship models, including the XUV700, Scorpio N, Thar and XUV300.

In conclusion, the automotive industry in India experienced a dip in car and SUV sales in June 2023, marking the lowest numbers in the first half of the year. While some carmakers managed to maintain positive growth, overall sales saw a decline. Factors such as the monsoon season and the upcoming slower sales period in July and August may contribute to the continuation of single-digit growth until the festive season in September-October. However, despite this temporary setback, the cumulative sales for the first six months of 2023 surpassed the 2-million mark for the first time ever in India, boding well for the entire automotive ecosystem. Manufacturers are strategizing to capture market share, especially in the growing SUV and EV segments, the coming months will be crucial in determining the trajectory of the Indian automotive industry for FY 2023-24.