Toyota hopes SUVs will dominate Indian passenger vehicle market in 2024
- Toyota hopes SUVs will push the Indian passenger vehicle market's growth momentum in 2024.
Toyota hopes the Indian passenger vehicle market will continue its growth momentum of 2023 into next year. The Japanese car manufacturer also believes that SUVs will continue to propel the growth momentum of the country's PV market in 2024, just like in 2023. Speaking to PTI, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Executive Vice President and Country Head Vikram Gulati said that the Indian passenger vehicle market would carry forward the momentum of 2023 to the next purely driven by economic fundamentals, having already moved beyond pent-up demand-induced growth.
In 2023, the Indian market witnessed the rapid growth of SUVs, which even outpaced the demand for hatchbacks and small cars that have been conventionally the bestselling segment in the country for decades. Gulati believes that SUVs are expected to witness fast growth in general in 2024, while the mid to higher end of the segment will see faster acceleration. He also said that the small cars category will remain a concern for the automakers.
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The growth in the Indian passenger vehicle market will be very healthy in 2024, believes Gulati. "I think the market is growing. It will continue to grow in a very healthy way. We are well beyond the part when people were saying this is pent-up demand. We have built much beyond that, and the festive season has seen very good pickup," he said talking about the outlook for 2024. He also stated that spending is going to be good in terms of people wanting personal mobility.
In 2023, the total sales of passenger vehicles in India are expected to cross the 40 lakh unit mark. In 2022, PV sales were at 37.93 lakh units, against 30.82 lakh in 2021. Clearly, the sales of passenger vehicles in India are moving upward at a fast pace, leaving behind the pandemic shock. SUVs are playing a major role in this growth momentum.
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The Toyota official believes that the current shift towards SUVs will continue in 2024 with more consumers willing to pay an additional amount for better features and safety. "In terms of performance and convenience, I think there is a very clear sign that customers will not compromise on that. What that basically means is going forward, we'll see much of the current trend magnifying itself. Even within the SUVs, we see the mid to higher and SUVs growing," he said.
While the SUVs are witnessing an ever-increasing demand and sales, small cars witnessing a significant slump in retail numbers. This remains a concern for the automakers and propelling the OEMs to shift towards utility vehicles. Speaking about this, Gulati said, "The challenge as we see today is more towards the smaller car segment. That will be interesting to see how that plays out."
Toyota Kirloskar Motor is set for a record year in terms of sales in 2023. It has already clocked 1.92 lakh units in the January-October period of 2023, beating the previous highest yearly sales of 1.72 lakh units sold in 2012.