Number of cars sold in India | Statistics

For a large country like India, automobiles play a vital role at every level of society. Every industry in a market is linked to the next in one way or another; this includes the auto industry. And which segment of the automobile sector dominates the Indian marketplace? The car markets. The population of India primarily consists of the emerging and middle class, which is constantly growing every year. And with that, the number of cars sold each year is also on the rise.

Relying on convenience and safety parameters, the middle class of today’s India considers buying a car over a two-wheeler. The increasing income of people is another reason for the rise in the number of vehicles sold in India.

The year 2020 saw a setback in the number of cars sold in India (in fact, sales of automobiles in general) due to the onset of Covid. Despite the losses, the industry is expected to be back to total capacity by 2021.

Car Sales Statistics

The number of cars sold in India increases every year, starting from the first car sold even before India’s independence. The first Indian to own a vehicle was Mr. Jamshedji Tata in 1897. This formed the foundation for the establishment of Hindustan Motors Limited in 1942.

The company gained its popularity with the Ambassador model and ruled India’s car market for several years. Much later, other car manufacturers started coming up, and the competition in the car market grew.

International investments and ever-increasing demand by the people of India resulted in the present car market scenario that we have.

Some car sells facts in the previous years and years to come are:

  • India is the 4th largest manufacturer of cars in the world.
  • In 2018, 4.4 million units of passenger cars and commercial vehicles were sold in India.
  • Maruti is the leading car manufacturer in India.
  • About 29% of the car parts used in India are imported from China.
  • The average ownership of a car in India in 2019 is 3-5 years, after which it is sold.
  • The SUVs are gaining popularity and have recorded a sale of 35% of the total cars sold in 2020. This share was as low as 15% in 2005.
  • The luxury car segment is on the rise, with record sales of about 60,000 units a year. This number roughly increases by 20% every year.
  • EVs own less than 10% of the total automobile market. However, the demand for them is increasing, and in 2030, 22.2 million units of EVs are expected to be sold.
  • The number of cars sold in India in May 2019 was roughly 227 thousand. In comparison, only about 33.5 thousand cars were sold in May 2020. This is expected to be higher for May 2021 with the revival of the sector.

The offline markets are slowly losing their sheen with the prevalence of the online marketplace. A similar trend is seen in the car sales statistics as well.

  • More and more offline retailers of cars are moving their business online. The online stores are easier to manage for the dealers and easy to buy from for the consumers.
  • Ecommerce is prevailing in the auto industry as well. This is conveniently seen in the recent market trends of purchases.
  • The reasons for choosing the online marketplace over the offline one are many: ease of transaction from the comfort of home, millions of options to choose from to fit one’s priorities perfectly, no bar on the distance for the options visible, and trusted sellers. All of these factors have been encouraging the growth of e-commerce market in the automobile sector.
Number of cars sold in India

Additionally, people are no longer stuck to the purchase of new cars only. People nowadays tend to consider buying second-hand cars as well. Many platforms are therefore opening up for the ease of people to buy and sell used vehicles comfortably.

  • A good percentage of the consumers prefer buying a second-hand car instead of a new two-wheeler.
  • The price of a car drops by about 30% in the first year of usage itself. Hence buying a used car comes off pretty cheaper.
  • In 2018, the number of used cars sold crossed the 4 million mark, which was about 1.3 times the number of new vehicles sold.
  • The above number grew to be 4.4 million units of used cars sold in the year 2020.
  • Investors are preferring the e-commerce platforms for used cars, which is constantly growing, given the support from the middle class of India’s population.
  • Maruti’s True Value chain is a great endeavor in the segment of the used cars.

The number of cars sold in India in January 2021 bounced back to about 276 thousand units. With much encouragement to the car market, the number of cars sold each year is increasing again.


The car market may have dropped down in the Covid year due to people staying indoors, but the industry rose back from the ashes. The losses are being revived, and the car sales facts are looking good for the coming years. With over 12% CAGR growth, the car market must be back on wheels again very soon.

The increase in India’s middle class and young population is increasing the demand for cars in India. By 2030, India is expected to become the leader in shared mobility. The coming years are also likely to see the dominance of electric vehicles and autonomous cars running on the roads. The favorable government initiatives, better income, and preference for medical safety promote the growth of the car industry.

The increased digital services offered by the great startups are bringing automobile e-commerce closer to the common masses. The car industry is expected to give way many more such platforms in the future, helping the IT industry as well. There is no stopping to the increasing number of cars sold in India each year with the growing living standards. The future is electric and bright for the car market in India.

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