The country’s largest carmaker is well set to record its best-ever fiscal year sales. With sales of 118,560 units in December 2017 (+11.4%), compared to the 106,388 units a year ago, Maruti Suzuki India is headed to post record sales numbers in FY2018.
With total sales (domestic and exports) between April-December 2017 totalling 1,317,801 units, a year-on-year growth of 14.2 percent (April-December 2016: 1,154,164), the carmaker is 250,802 units short of crossing its best-ever fiscal sales of 1,568,603 units achieved in FY2018. With three months left to go in FY2018 and given the current pace of its sales, Maruti should drive past this number with ease.
As is known, the company is gunning for 2 million sales annually by the year 2020. And it has 2.5 million sales in its crosshairs by FY2023.
In an interview to Autocar Professional last month, Kenichi AyukawaMD and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India, said: "We are making good progress to our goal of 2 million annual sales in 2020. We are committed to double-digit growth. There are always challenges in business but I am confident we are on course." (The full interview is published in the December 15, 2017 issue of the magazine).
Let’s take a closer look at how the company fared in the domestic market in December 2017. Sales for the entry-level hatchback duo of the Alto and Wagon R, which sold 32,146 units point to slow growth of 2 percent (December 2016: 31,527).
Acting as a strong buffer is the quintet of compact cars (Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire) and utility vehicles (Gypsy, Ertiga, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza) which continue to beef up overall numbers. At 53,336 units sold (December 2016: 43,295), the five cars posted 23.2 percnet YoY growth albeit much less than November 2017’s 32.4 percent growth. UVs, due to the overwhelming demand for the Vitara Brezza, sold 19,276 units, up 19.9 percent (December 2016: 16,072).
If there is a growing concern for Maruti, then it would the declining sales of the Ciaz premium sedan. In November 2017, the Ciaz sold a total of 4,009 units, down a sizeable 26.2 percent (November 2016: 5,443). In December 2017, Ciaz sales have fallen even lower to 2,382 units, down 35.8 percent (December 2016: 3,711)
Bringing up the rear are the two vans, the Omni and the Eeco which together sold 11,420 units, up 23.8 percent (December 2016: 9,224).
Read more: Maruti Suzuki India’s Kenichi Ayukawa is Autocar Professional's Man of the Year 2017