Indian automakers reported robust sales of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in May on steady demand and saw an uptick in two-wheeler sales on the back of the wedding season and replacement of old bikes and scooters. Mahindra and Mahindra, the country's top SUV maker by market share, reported a 23.5% jump in SUV sales, while sales of the larger and pricier vehicles at Maruti Suzuki, the top carmaker by volumes, grew around 65%.
Sales of SUVs propelled India's passenger vehicle (PV) sales to a record high in fiscal 2023 and are expected to grow in double digits this financial year, despite a slower growth for the overall industry. However, SUV sales have been limited to a certain extent due to supply issues for parts, particularly chips. SUV sales volume "were restricted by a short-term disruption in engine-related parts at the supplier end," Veejay Nakra, president of the automotive division at Mahindra, said, adding that the company continued to face a shortage of chips for airbags.
The company in a post-earnings press conference last week said that chip shortages were still limiting its efforts to ramp up SUV production. Meanwhile, Bajaj Auto's sales of bikes in India more than doubled during the month, helped in part by the easing of supply constraints that hurt production in May last year. Replacement purchases also helped, analysts said. Total sales of Eicher Motors's more premium Royal Enfield motorcycles grew about 22%.
Tata Motors, India's top truck and bus maker by market share, reported a 12% fall in commercial vehicle volumes, while Ashok Leyland's volumes dropped 1%. In contrast, Eicher's total sales grew about 12%. Below is a list of overall sales figures for May from some of India's leading auto companies: Manufacturer Vehicles Sold Y/Y Growth (%) (units) Maruti Suzuki 178,083 10.3% India Mahindra and 61,415 14.3% Mahindra Auto Tata Motors 74,973 -1.6% Bajaj Auto 355,148 28.7% Eicher Motors 77,461 21.7% Motorcycles Eicher Motors 6,289 11.6% Trucks and Buses Ashok Leyland 13,134 -1.1% Mahindra and 33,113 -3.1% Mahindra Farm Equipment (Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)