Not yet Tata to second position, Hyundai records highest ever sales in 2022 | The Financial Express

Not yet Tata to second position, Hyundai records highest ever sales in 2022

Although Tata Motors became India’s second largest carmaker in May and December 2022, Hyundai maintained overall lead and sold 552,511 cars in 2022, overtaking its peak of 550,002 cars in 2018.

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Automotive analysts told FE that automatic car sales roughly form about 20% of the market. (IE)

In 2022, Hyundai India reached its highest ever sales in a calendar year, by selling 552,511 cars. The previous best was in 2018 when the Korean carmaker had sold 550,002 cars. It also maintained a comfortable lead over Tata Motors (which toppled the Korean as India’s second largest carmaker in May and December 2022).

“In 2018 we sold 550,002 cars, in 2019 (510,260 cars), in 2020 (423,642 cars), in 2021 (505,033 cars), and now in 2022 we have topped the 2018 numbers by selling 552,511 cars,” Tarun Garg, director, Sales, Marketing & Service, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, told FE.

Sport utility vehicles

Despite the rising share of carmakers such as Mahindra and Tata Motors in the Indian SUV space, Garg said Hyundai still has a substantial share. “In 2022, the percentage share of SUVs in the overall passenger vehicle (PV) market was 41.8%, and Hyundai India’s share within that was 53.3%,” he said. “In 2021, the percentage share of SUVs in the overall PV market was 38.1%, and our share in that was 50%.”

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Diesel still torquey

The demand for cars powered by diesel engines—which reduced in 2020 when Bharat Stage 6 emission norms kicked in—has risen again for the carmaker, helped by SUVs.

“In 2019, about 26% of Hyundai cars sold were diesel, which reduced slightly after the BS6 implementation in 2020, but it is back to around 26%,” Garg said. “A reason is that customers prefer diesel SUVs over petrol, especially in bigger SUVs.”

In the carmaker’s premium SUV, the Tucson, 72% sales share is of diesel variants. In the Alcazar it is 75%, in the Creta it is 54%, and in the Venue it is 23%. Diesel vehicles are also preferred in certain states. Across India, diesel has a 26% share in PVs, but in Punjab it is 37%, in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana it is 33%, and in Maharashtra it is 31%.

Automatic and connected cars

Automotive analysts told FE that automatic car sales roughly form about 20% of the market. While for Hyundai also it’s close to 20%, Garg said it could have been higher but for the semiconductor shortage.

“I expect in 2023 this 20% for us will go up to 25%. India is moving towards automatic cars in a big way,” he said.

What has helped the rising popularity of the automatic gearbox is choice. Hyundai, for example, offers five automatic gearbox options. These are AMT (automated manual transmission), iMT (intelligent manual transmission), AT (automatic transmission), IVT (intelligent variable transmission) and DCT (dual-clutch transmission).

The sales share of connected cars is also rising. “About 26% cars we sold in 2022 were connected (Blue Link connectivity), and it has been increasing—22% in 2021, 15.7% in 2020, and 4.7% in 2019,” Garg said. “We had launched the first connected car in India, the Venue, in May 2019.”

The ticket size of Hyundai cars is also increasing over the years. “In 2022, 45% cars we sold were priced more than Rs 10 lakh. As far as the entire industry is concerned, 41% cars sold in India in 2022 were priced above Rs 10 lakh,” he said. “In 2018, 21% cars we sold were above Rs 10 lakh, while the industry figure for the same was 16% in that year.”

Creta and the Indian SUV market

The Creta has been a major contributor to India SUV growth story. Along with Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (now called the Brezza), the Creta is among the largest selling SUVs in the country.

Launched in 2015, the midsize SUV has crossed the 800,000 cumulative sales mark. But, over the years, competition for the Creta has been getting tougher, including Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, Tata Harrier, Mahindra’s new Scorpio, MG Astor and Hector, and others.

“The competition is getting stronger, but so have Creta sales,” Garg said. “In 2022, we sold 140,895 units of the Creta, which is 12% growth over the 125,000 units sold in 2021.”

The all-new Tucson, launched in August 2022, has given Hyundai a new set of customers. Garg said that previously Hyundai India used to sell about 1,000 units of the Tucson every year, which in 2022 increased to 2,000 units. “In 2023, I expect we will be able to sell 5,000-6,000 units of the Tucson. It has even got us customers from the more premium segment, where earlier buyers only considered German cars.”

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The Tucson, priced ex-showroom from Rs 27.7 lakh to Rs 34.54 lakh, competes with entry-level cars made by Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Volvo.

Lastly, Hyundai India overall has 120,209 pending orders, but Garg said the semiconductor shortage has eased and the carmaker is trying its best to meet the orders.

Tata versus Hyundai

It was also a year when Tata Motors emerged as the closest competitor to Hyundai India. First in May and then in December, Tata Motors overtook Hyundai as India’s second-largest carmaker. The sales difference between both the carmakers in 2022 was just 25,713 units. But automotive analysts said that Hyundai is likely to maintain a comfortable lead over Tata Motors in 2023, as Hyundai was more negatively impacted by the semiconductor shortage than Tata Motors, and now with the chip shortage having eased the Korean carmaker won’t have supply challenges that, in part, led to it losing the second rank to Tata Motors briefly.

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First published on: 02-01-2023 at 02:50 IST