The numbers, which are in line with the healthy trends witnessed through most of the last two years, show that consumers still have an appetite for new, feature-loaded cars as average price per unit stood at nearly Rs 11.5 lakh, against Rs 10.5 lakh last year, industry officials told TOI.
Companies, however, are cautious about demand going forward as they expect wholesales in November and December to be relatively subdued as the industry keeps a check on inventory levels towards the year-end.
“We are thrilled with the numbers, and the industry surely gained as we had higher number of days during this festive period. The record numbers were also enabled by better production as supply woes eased and demand continued to remain strong,” Shashank Srivastava, director (marketing & sales) at Maruti Suzuki said.
Srivastava said with SUVs powering a large number of sales, the average per car realisation for the industry also saw significant growth. “The average car price in 2023 was a record Rs 11.5 lakh, which helped the industry garner Rs 1.3 lakh crore in revenues. At Maruti, we benefited immensely as we continue to gain in SUVs where we lead the market now,” Srivastava said.
The car industry, while witnessing a strong demand curve after Covid curbs started getting lifted from late 2021, had been hit hard by supply constraints due to shortages of semiconductors, restrictions on certain supplies from China, and the war in Ukraine. However, supplies have been normalising now, especially for the mainstream players, who have also opened up new supply channels. “I see the auto Industry ending this calendar year with around 8% growth over last year. Hyundai India will end the year at around 8.5-9% growth, with a strong contribution of about 60% from SUVs,” Tarun Garg, COO at Hyundai India said.
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Garg said that the company retailed 1.6 lakh vehicles during the festive period. “We saw a growth of 9% in festive season and SUVs such as Creta, Venue and the newly-launched Exter saw major traction.” Tata Motors MD Shailesh Chandra said that the company saw a 15% growth during the festive period.