Car sales in India hit adversely in September 2021 – despite demand hitting new highs
September 2021 Car sales data for most mass-market OEMs is out. Sadly, it was not a very good month for the Indian automotive industry. Most of the OEMs reported a decline in terms of sales, whether we look at month to month performance or year to year performance. Let us take a detailed analysis of the OEM-wise performance.
Before we delve deeper into the data, we would like to mention that the figures quoted in the report are dealer dispatches, i.e. the number of vehicles sold by OEMs to their dealership partners. The only exception is MG Motor, which has historically shared retail data, i.e., sales to the end customers, from its dealer partners.
Maruti and Hyundai continue to lead
The major reason for the decline in sales performance was the two major players in the Indian automotive sector, namely Maruti and Hyundai. Compared to August’21, Maruti reported a massive 39% drop in its sales figures in September’21, and meanwhile Hyundai also reported a significant drop of 29% in its overall sales figures.
If we compare the performance of September ’21 with that of September’20, sales for Maruti have declined by 57% and for Hyundai by about 34%. Maruti’s overall market share, which used to be around 50% a few quarters ago, has slipped to just 34%. Hyundai’s market share also declined marginally to around 17.8%.
Tata Motors remains at number three
Over the past few quarters, Tata Motors has consolidated its position as the third largest OEM in the passenger car segment. In September’21, it managed to sell 25,730 units, registering a decline of 8% as compared to August’21. However, as compared to September 20, Tata registered a solid growth of 21% in its sales.
As compared to the previous month, there were only 3 OEMs which managed to register a marginal increase in their sales. These were VW, Jeep and Citroen. However, if the absolute numbers are seen, the increase was of only 1,200 units. All other major manufacturers including Kia, Mahindra, Toyota, Renault, Honda, MG, Nissan and Skoda posted double-digit decline in their sales numbers. Ford, thanks to its move to exit India, recorded 0 sales in Sep’21. Overall, the industry reported a 28.5% decline in sales numbers, and a sales loss of around 75,000 units.
The picture changes partly when we assess the data on a year versus year basis. OEMs like Kia, Mahindra, Renault and Honda reported double-digit decline in their sales. However, others like Toyota, MG, Skoda, Nissan, VW, Jeep among others registered strong growth in their sales numbers. Nissan’s performance is largely supported by its new launch, the Magnite. Overall, the segment witnessed a steep decline of 36% as compared to Sep’20, registering a loss of around 1.06 lakh units.
Overall, sales figures, declines and market share are the result of several factors that come into play at the same time. September’20 was a relatively good month for the auto industry as the country was slowly coming out of pre-Covid wave restrictions, and there was a massive reduction in demand that was being serviced. However in Sep’21 there was no such big gain.
Another important issue that has impacted the overall sales performance is the production challenges due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage. Most OEMs would have recorded better sales numbers if they had a sufficient supply of the chips needed to support the new-age creature comforts features. The limited availability of chipsets has resulted in a drastic drop in production capacity, leading to lower sales.