Passenger vehicle wholesales in India rose to a record high in October as companies pushed dispatches to dealers to cater to the enhanced demand in the festive season.
The overall passenger vehicle wholesales in October rose to 391,472 units, up 16 per cent from 336,679 units in the same month last year.
Last month witnessed the highest-ever dispatches of passenger vehicles in the domestic market by Maruti Suzuki India and Mahindra & Mahindra.
"It is not only the highest October in terms of sales, but also the highest ever month which we have seen in the Indian passenger vehicle industry in any year in any month," Maruti Suzuki India senior executive officer (marketing and sales) Shashank Srivastava told reporters in a call.
He noted that the fading away of semiconductor shortage issues has helped the industry ramp up production and cater to enhanced demand in the market.
Besides, brisk business during the peak festival period of Navratra also helped in the volume growth last month, Srivastava said.
He noted that the share of sports utility vehicles in the overall passenger vehicle sales continues to grow and currently stands at 50.7 per cent.
"This makes this year quite good so far, because every month has been the highest ever that month.
"In fact, if you include January, February and March also or even the entire calendar year also, every month has been the highest ever.
"That is a very positive sign for the industry," Srivastava said.
He however noted that the inventory level remains quite high at the dealer level and it would depend upon the retail sales in the first 15 days of this month as how the wholesales would shape up going ahead.
The stock has gone up because the wholesale has been less than the retail, he added.
In October, MSI reported its best-ever domestic monthly dispatches in October at 177,266 units, up 21 per cent from 147,072 units in the year-ago period.
Its total domestic passenger vehicle sales rose to 168,047 units last month from 140,337 units in October 2022.
"This is the highest ever number for Maruti Suzuki in any year in any month.
"The previous highest being in October 2020, which was 163,656 units," Srivastava said.
Sales of mini segment cars, comprising Alto and S-Presso, declined to 14,568 units against 24,936 units in October 2022.
Its compact cars, including Baleno, Celerio, Dzire, Ignis, Swift, Tour S and WagonR, sales rose to 80,662 units compared to 73,685 units in the year-ago month.
Utility vehicles, consisting of Brezza, Grand Vitara, Ertiga and XL6, sales surged 91 per cent to 59,147 units last month from 30,971 units earlier.
Rival Hyundai Motor Company said its domestic sales increased by 15 per cent to 55,128 units last month, from 48,001 units in the same month a year ago.
"The festival season has again proved that customers are really wanting to buy cars.
"The good part is that although we do not have pent up demand, the fresh inflow is what is keeping us afloat," Hyundai Motor India COO Tarun Garg said.
Mahindra & Mahindra said its utility vehicle dispatches rose by 36 per cent year-on-year to 43,708 units in October compared to 32,226 units in the year-ago period.
"While the strong festive demand should see us continue our growth momentum in November, we will keep a close watch on select supply-related challenges," M&M automotive division president Veejay Nakra said.
Tata Motors said its passenger vehicle wholesales, including electric vehicles, in the domestic market were at 48,337 units compared to 45,217 units in the year-ago month, up 7 per cent.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) said its dispatches increased by 66 per cent year-on-year to 21,879 units in October.
"For us, sustained growth has been coming from across every segment where Toyota has its presence," TKM vice president of sales and strategic marketing Atul Sood said.
Kia India said its sales increased by 4.4 per cent year on year to 24,351 units in October.
"During the festive season, our customers' positive outlook has helped us achieve our fourth-highest monthly sales ever in India," Kia India national head, sales & marketing Hardeep Singh Brar said.
The company is working towards maintaining the same momentum in the coming months, he added.
In the two-wheeler segment, Hero MotoCorp reported a 26.5 per cent increase in total sales at 574,930 units in October 2023, as compared to 454,582 units in the same month last year.
Rival Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) said its total sales stood at 492,884 units last, a 10 per cent year on growth over October 2022.