India beats Japan, becomes world’s third largest auto market: Report

India surpassed Japan in car sales last year to become the third-largest auto market for the first time, Nikkei Asia reported Friday, according to the latest industry data.


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Date updated:
January 6, 2023, 16:49 PM

India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s third largest auto market, according to a Nikkei Asia report.

India’s new car sales totaled at least 4.25 million based on preliminary results, surpassing Japan’s 4.2 million.

According to the Indian Automobile Manufacturers Association, a total of 4.13 million new vehicles were delivered in India from January to November 2022. Add in the December sales reported by Maruti Suzuki, India’s biggest automaker on Sunday, and the total comes to about 4.25 million.

India’s sales are expected to rise further, according to Nikkei Asia, including pending fourth-quarter sales of commercial vehicles and year-end results not yet announced by Tata Motors and other automakers. It has been.

In 2021, China will continue to lead the global car market with 26.27 million cars sold. The US remained his second with 15.4 million units, followed by Japan with 4.44 million units.

Nikkei Asia said India’s auto market has been volatile in recent years. About 4.4 million cars were sold in 2018, but in 2019, that number fell short of his 4 million. This was largely due to the credit crunch that hit the non-bank sector that year.

When the Covid pandemic triggered nationwide lockdowns in 2020, car sales were well below 3 million. Sales recovered to near 4 million in 2021, but a shortage of automotive chips weighed on growth.

Nikkei Asia said most of the new cars sold in India last year were petrol-powered vehicles, including hybrids, and electric vehicles were almost non-existent, he added. Cars destined for the Indian market are expected to have fewer semiconductors than cars sold in developed countries.

The easing of the automotive chip crunch in 2022 provided a springboard to recovery, according to Nikkei Asia. Alongside Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and other Indian automakers saw sales growth last year.

India is home to 1.4 billion people and is expected to overtake China this year and continue to grow until the early 2060s. Income is also rising.

Only 8.5% of Indian households will own a passenger car in 2021, according to UK research firm Euromonitor, meaning there is plenty of room for growth in sales. The government has started offering subsidies for EVs amid a trade deficit stemming from oil imports.

Japan sold 4,201,321 cars last year, down 5.6% from 2021, according to data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor and Motorcycle Association.

Nikkei Asia said the Omicron epidemic and the lockdown in China have left production well below production, leaving automakers unable to meet demand.

Japan’s car sales peaked at 7.77 million in 1990, according to Nikkei Asia, meaning they’ve halved from their previous high. Also, due to the country’s declining population, there is little prospect of a significant recovery in sales in the near future.

According to Nikkei Asia, China overtook Japan to become the second largest auto market in 2006. In 2009, China overtook the United States to become the world’s largest market.

First issue date: January 6, 2023 at 4:49pm IST

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