Maruti Suzuki India has announced its February sales results just ahead of the auspicious festival of colours – Holi – which is to be celebrated in India tomorrow. True to the festive spirit, the company’s performance looks all vibrant and cheerful.
Last month, the carmaker sold a total of 136,648 units in the domestic market, growing 13.3 percent (February 2017: 120,599). Cumulatively, it has sold 1,496,297 units between April-February 2018, growing 13.7 percent (April-February 2017: 1,315,946) and in line with Autocar Professional’s analysis, it is set to surpass the 1.5 million sales mark in FY2018, being merely 3,703 units short of the milestone as on March 1. In fact, the company will cross the landmark today itself, the first day of March.
Given the pace of sales, driven by new models like the Swift and Dzire as well as the game-changing Vitara Brezza, Maruti Suzuki clearly is going to achieve its best-ever sales for a fiscal year in FY2018. In FY2017, it had sold a total of 1,443,641 units (+10.59%).
In February 2018, while the entry-level Alto and Wagon R siblings registered nearly flat sales of 33,789 units (February 2017: 33,079 / +2.1%), the set of compact cars including the Swift, Ignis, Baleno and the DZire together went home to 65,213 buyers, posting significant growth of 38.7 percent (February 2017: 47,002). Interestingly, Maruti launched the third generation of the Swift hatchback at the Auto Expo at the start of February; given the pent-up demand among buyers for this model, it is already being seen in good numbers on the roads.
If there is a worry for the company, then it is in the dwindling numbers of the premium Ciaz sedan, which is facing the heat from the competition in the C-segment. The sedan, which is now being sold through the Nexa premium car sales channel, was able to garner sales of 4,897 units, declining by 16.8 percent (February 2017: 5,886). The new Hyundai Verna and the Honda City are giving it a tough time, and the fight is only set to become fiercer once Toyota introduces its Yaris sedan in the country in May 2018.
UVs are a growing breed and Maruti's UV portfolio, which includes the Gypsy, S-Cross, Ertiga, and the Vitara Brezza, is making the most of the trend. The pack of crossovers cumulatively sold 20,324 units, growing a considerable 13.8 percent (February 2017: 17,863). The company also showcased its Concept Future S at the Auto Expo, which screams SUV styling with compact proportions.
The two vans Omni and Eeco, on the other hand, sold 12,425 units, declining 12.5 percent (February 2017: 14,195).
Further strengthens stranglehold in PV market
With rising sales in the fiscal, Maruti Suzuki has also seen its PV market hold getting strengthened even further. The company sold 1,019,955 passenger cars between April-January 2018, increasing its market share from 52.25 percent to 56.55 percent (April-January 2017: 909,594).
It also sold 210,671 UVs during the same 10-month period and enhanced its UV market share from 25.80 percent to 28.09 percent, on the back of strong demand for products like the Vitara Brezza.
March 2017 which with Holi marks the onset of spring in India should bring in robust numbers for the company.