Maruti-Suzuki Swift cars roll off the assembly line at a plant in Manesar in India's Haryana state. Photo: AFP

India’s passenger vehicle manufacturers registered healthy growth in the month of January, despite many players increasing prices of most models to cover rising input costs and Covid-19 disruption in supply chains.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki reported a 4.3% increase in total sales at 1,60,752 units in January, up from 1,54,123 units in the same period last year. Domestic sales during the period rose 2.6% to 1,48,307 units as against 1,44,499 units last year.

While the sale of mini and compact car models registered a decline of 7.4% and 8.8%, respectively, utility vehicles registered a healthy growth of 45.1% in the month of January. Exports were also up 29.3% at 12,445 units in January as against 9,624 units in the corresponding month last year.

Hyundai

The country’s second-largest carmaker registered double-digit growth on the back of its impressive sales of compact and mid-sized sports utility vehicles. In January it sold 60,105 units as against 52,002 units last year, a rise of 15.6%.

Hyundai’s domestic sales figure for January was 52,005 units, a 23.8% rise over the same period last year (42,000 units). However, it fumbled on exports during the same period, which dropped 19% to 8,100 units, as against 10,000 units last year.

Its sister concern Kia Motors registered a growth of 23.34% at 19,056 units, up from 15,450 units in January. It began operations in August 2019 and in less than 18 months it has sold over 200,000 vehicles. Kia’s compact sport utility vehicles, the Seltos and the Sonet, have become bestsellers in the segment.

Tata Motors

The steel-to-automobile conglomerate nearly doubled its sales of passenger vehicles in January, which helped offset its lackluster performance in the commercial vehicles segment.

Tata Motors overall sales rose 28% to 57,742 units in January, up from 45,242 units. The passenger vehicle sales registered a whopping 94.17% increase (26,978 units) in January this year as against 13,894 units last year.

Its commercial vehicle sales declined marginally by 1.86% at 30764 units, down from 31,348 units in the month of January.

Toyota Kirloskar

The Indian unit of the Japanese auto giant nearly doubled (92%) its January sales to 11,126 units, as against 5,804 units last year. The company said its newly-launched Fortuner and Legender models have been well received and its popular utility vehicle brand Innova Crysta was also performing well.