The Indian car industry never had it so big, despite growing concerns around inflation and rising interest rates. Led by a strong surge in demand for SUVs as well as revival of personal mobility, the industry scored its highest-ever tally of wholesale deliveries in a month by dispatching a record 3.42 lakh units to dealerships in July.
The record number goes past the previous high of 3.34 lakh units that the industry had dispatched in October 2020, when the country was moving out of the first Covid wave and preparing for festive buying.
The situation is much different now as the numbers come on a top of a bloated waiting list of six lakh units that still need to be delivered to customers, many of whom have been waiting for months. Much of the waiting has been due to the shortage of semiconductor chips, though officials say the situation has been improving here.
The industry is pleased, though expressing concern on inflationary trends and interest rate hikes. “The demand pattern remains strong. The numbers are even more encouraging as they come on top of two quarters where we sold over 9 lakh units,” Shashank Srivastava, director (sales & marketing) at Maruti Suzuki, said.
Maruti, which has pending deliveries of 3.3 lakh vehicles, sold around 1.4 lakh units in the month on a growth of 7%, while for Hyundai – which has been facing a stiff challenge from Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra – the growth was 5%. Tata Motors, riding high on demand for SUVs such as Nexon and Punch as well as electric models, scored 57% growth, while for Mahindra, which recently launched all new Scorpio (called ScorpioN). the growth was 34%. “The supply chain situation continues to remain dynamic, and we are monitoring the situation closely,” M&M president (automotive division) Veejay Nakra said.
The industry expects demand to get more aggressive as the country moves towards the festive season. .
Mahindra is also battling a huge waiting period on models such as Thar and XUV7OO and is witnessing a heavy customer rush. The Scorpio-N had a bumper opening, as it received 1 lakh bookings in just half an hour, grossing over Rs 18,000 crore in terms of potential sales value.