India’s sales of new vehicles totaled at least 4.25 million units, based on preliminary results, topping the 4.2 million sold in Japan.

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In 2021, China continued to lead the global auto market, with 26.27 million vehicles sold. The U.S. remained second at 15.4 million vehicles, followed by Japan at 4.44 million units.

According to the most recent industry figures, India overtook Japan in terms of auto sales last year, moving it to third place for the first time.

According to early figures, India outsold Japan with at least 4.25 million new car sales, surpassing that country’s 4.2 million sales.

Between January and November 2022, 4.13 million new cars were delivered in India, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

The number rises to almost 4.25 million units when the sales figure for December, which Maruti Suzuki, the largest automaker in India, reported on Sunday, is added.

With the inclusion of upcoming commercial vehicle fourth-quarter sales data and upcoming year-end numbers from Tata Motors and other manufacturers, the volume of sales in India is predicted to increase even more.

The auto industry in India has experienced recent fluctuations. In 2019, volume fell to below 4 million units from the about 4.4 million units sold in 2018, partly because of the credit crunch that impacted the nonbank sector that year.

Vehicle sales fell even lower than the 3 million-unit threshold in 2020 when the COVID pandemic prompted a nationwide lockdown.

Sales bounced back in 2021 to close to 4 million units, although growth was hampered by the lack of automotive chips.

In India last year, gasoline-powered vehicles, including hybrids, made up the majority of new car sales. There are hardly any electric cars on the road. Automobiles marketed for the Indian market are thought to include fewer semiconductors than those bought in developed nations.

In 2022, the automotive chip crisis began to ease, which served as a launchpad for a comeback. Tata Motors and other Indian automakers saw an increase in sales last year, along with Maruti Suzuki.

India is home to 1.4 billion people, and its population is expected to outstrip China sometime this year and continue growing until the early 2060s. Incomes are rising as well.

According to British research company Euromonitor, only 8.5% of Indian households possessed a passenger vehicle in 2021, leaving lots of space for sales development. In response to a trade deficit brought on by imports of petroleum, the government has begun providing subsidies for EVs.

According to figures from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association, 4,201,321 automobiles were sold in Japan last year, a 5.6% decrease from 2021.

The omicron outbreak and the Chinese lockdowns significantly reduced manufacturing, making it impossible for automakers to meet demand.

Japan’s auto sales reached an all-time high of 7.77 million units in 1990; since then, they have fallen by almost half. Additionally, there is little chance that sales would significantly rebound in the near future due to the nation’s dwindling population.

In 2006, China overtook Japan to overtake it as the world’s second-largest vehicle market. China surpassed the United States to take the top spot for global market size in 2009.