Passenger vehicle sales in India crossed the three million milestone for the first time in 2016-17, with the segment witnessing a growth of 9.23 per cent.

For the fiscal ended March 2017, domestic passenger vehicles (PV) sales were at 30,46,727 units against 27,89,208 in the previous year, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

On the sales performance, SIAM Deputy Director Sugato Sen said the year witnessed the highest sales of passenger vehicles, utility vehicles, motorcycles and scooters.

“In terms of passenger vehicles, we crossed the three million mark for the first time,” Sen told reporters here.

“The growth in PV sales is driven largely by demand for utility vehicles ahead of sedans and hatchbacks,” he added.

Utility vehicles

During the year, utility vehicle sales were at 7,61,997 units against 5,86,576 units in the previous fiscal, a growth of 29.91 per cent.

“This is the highest growth rate achieved by the UV segment after 2013-14 when it grew by 52 per cent,” Sen said.

SIAM Director General Vishnu Mathur said there is a readjustment happening in the Indian passenger vehicle market with demand for utility vehicles rising at a much faster rate ahead of conventional cars.

Car sales

Domestic car sales during the year grew 3.85 per cent to 21,02,996 units from 20,25,097 units in the previous year. This was the lowest growth since 2014-15, when car sales rose 5.09 per cent.

Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza, Hyundai’s Creta, Renault Duster, Mahindra Scorpio and Ford Ecosport are among the popular SUV models in India at present.

Mathur said the industry has been able to grow despite challenges of ban on big diesel SUVs and cars in the National Capital region and demonetisation.

“As for demonetisation, the impact was for only two months on the PV segment and recovery was quick, but it was prolonged in the two-wheeler segment,” he said.

In 2016-17, market leader Maruti Suzuki India retained its top position in the domestic PV space selling 14,43,641 units, a growth of 10.59 per cent.

Rival Hyundai Motor India was a distant second with 5,09,705 units, up 5.24 per cent followed by home-grown Mahindra & Mahindra in the third spot with 2,36,130 units, down 0.07 per cent.

Tata Motors overtook Honda Cars India to occupy the fourth spot with 1,72,504 units, up 15.45 per cent, while the Japanese rival sold 1,57,313 units during the year, down 18.09 per cent.

Total two-wheeler sales during the year stood at 1,75,89,511 units against 1,64,55,851 in the previous fiscal, up 6.89 per cent.

Motorcycle sales

Motorcycles sales in 2016-17 were at 1,10,94,543 units compared with 1,07,00,406 in the previous fiscal, up 3.68 per cent.

Market leader Hero MotoCorp sold 56,93,681 units during the year compared with 56,03,136 in the previous fiscal, up 1.62 per cent. Rival Bajaj Auto posted sales of 20,01,391 units against 18,98,957 in 2015-16, up 5.39 per cent.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) had bike sales of 15,36,055 units last fiscal against 14,94,153 units in 2015-16, a growth of 2.8 per cent.

Scooter sales

Scooter sales in 2016-17 were at 56,04,601 units in comparison to 50,31,678 in the previous fiscal, up 11.39 per cent.

Segment leader HMSI posted 31,89,012 units during the year as against 27,89,537 in 2015-16, up 14.32 per cent.

Chennai-based TVS Motor Co posted a growth of 6.81 per cent in its domestic scooter sales at 8,26,291 units against 7,73,597 units sold in the previous fiscal, becoming the number two player in the category.

Hero MotoCorp dropped to third position with its scooter sales last fiscal at 7,89,974 units compared with 8,18,777 units in 2015-16, down 3.51 per cent.

SIAM said that during 2016-17, commercial vehicle sales grew 4.16 per cent to 7,14,232 units from 6,85,704 a year earlier.

Three-wheeler sales for the year were at 5,11,658 units compared with 5,38,208, down 4.93 per cent.

Vehicle sales across all categories were at 2,18,62,128 against 2,04,68,971 units in the previous fiscal, up 6.81 per cent, SIAM said.

For March, SIAM said domestic car sales went up 8.17 per cent to 1,90,065 units from 1,75,709 in the year-ago month.

Motorcycles sales last month were at 9,15,199 units as against 9,46,754 a year earlier, down 3.33 per cent.

Total two-wheeler sales in March grew marginally to 14,71,576 units, from 14,67,710 in the year-ago month.

Sales of commercial vehicles were up 9.26 per cent at 87,257 units in March, SIAM said.

Vehicle sales across categories logged a growth of 1.33 per cent at 18,80,352 units, from 18,55,623 in March 2016, it added.