Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai Motor's India unit reported higher car sales in March and both the companies ended fiscal 2024 with record sales figures, monthly data from the automakers showed on Monday. Each month, automobile makers in India release wholesale numbers, or vehicle sales to dealers.

Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hero MotoCorp will report monthly numbers later in the day. WHY IT'S IMPORTANT The numbers are seen as a key indicator of private consumption in India. The auto sector carries more than 50% weightage in calculating the country's economic growth. CONTEXT A surge in domestic sales of pricier sport utility vehicles (SUVs) last year has extended into 2024. Utility vehicles accounted for nearly 60% of total passenger vehicle sales from April 2023 to February 2024, according to industry data.

Entry-level car sales floundered last year. In a bid to increase demand, automakers have banked on higher discounts in the segment. Meanwhile, product launches and improved rural demand for entry-level models have helped bolster two-wheeler sales amid heated competition in the high-end segment.

BY THE NUMBERS Manufacturer Total March Sales Y/Y change in Total FY24 Sales Y/Y change in (units) March (%) (units) FY24 (%) Mahindra & 68,413 3.5 824,939* 18.1 Mahindra Auto Mahindra & 26,024 -25.7 378,386 -7.1 Mahindra Farm Equipment Hyundai Motor 65,601 6.7 777,876* 8.0 India * Record high sales (Reporting by Varun Hebbalalu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)