Sustaining the strong momentum from July, Maruti Suzuki reported yet another month of robust sales as the Japanese carmaker clocked 12% YoY growth in despatches at 119,931 units in August.
A flourishing monsoon, high demand for its new models and the improving buyer sentiment ahead of the festive season augured well for the country’s largest carmaker during the month. Together with exports, the carmaker has sold a total of 132,211 units in August 2016, growing 12.2 % over August 2015 (117,864 units).
Segment-wise sales in August
The company’s product-wise sales split clearly points out to that the new models are now the driving force behind Maruti’s sales juggernaut.
In August, the entry level duo of the Alto and Wagon R sold a total of 35,490 units, down 5.8% YoY (August 2015: 37,665) while the quintet of the Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Baleno and the Dzire sold a total of 45,579 units, up 9.9% YoY (August 2015: 41,461), with the Baleno being the prime driver in this segment.
The Ciaz sedan, reported yet another month of sales over 5,000 units, likely outselling its closest rival Honda City with 6,214 units in August 2016, up 49.5% YoY (August 2015: 4,156).
The utility vehicle segment continued to provide the sales fillip to the company in August with the Vitara Brezza clocking impressive numbers.
The UVs comprising the Gypsy, Ertiga, Grand Vitara, S-Cross and the Vitara Brezza sold 16,806 units, up 114.5% YoY (August 2015: 7,836).
The Vitara Brezza, which was launched in March 2016, became the country’s most sold UV in July with sales of over 10,000 units and is expected to once again be a top contender for the title in August. Though Maruti is working on ramping up production for the Vitara Brezza, it continues to command a waiting period of over six months.
The Omni and Eeco vans meanwhile keep up their sales act. Together they sold a total of 12,831 units last month, up 2.7% (August 2015: 12,491).
Set to cross 1.4 million sales in 2016-17
Maruti Suzuki India, which is riding a wave of demand for its new models like the Baleno and the Brezza, and also hybrid variants of the Ciaz sedan and Ertiga MPV, looks set to cross sales of 1.4 million cars in this fiscal year. Having sold a total of 1,305,351 units in FY2015-16, the carmaker is averaging 10-odd percent monthly growth, which means it is headed to hit overall sales of around 1,436,000 units in FY2016-17.
The company is also set to reap big gains in the festive season which commences soon in India. While it scaled up production of the Baleno and Brezza, which continue to see high waiting periods, it is also optimistic about demand rising for older models like the Alto, Swift and Dzire.
Speaking to Autocar Professional recently, RS Kalsi, executive director (marketing and sales), Maruti Suzuki India, said: “All the existing models like the Alto, Wagon R, Swift, Celerio and Dzire are in high demand. Most of our existing models have recently been upgraded with new safety features such as airbags and ABS with EBD. The popular AMT technology has also been expanded to the Alto and Wagon R. These factors will increase the pull among customers during the festival season.”
Furthermore, with the disbursal of the Seventh Pay Commission having begun from August, expect a good number of government employees across the country to go in for new Maruti cars.
That’s not all. January-February 2017 will see the opening of the new plant in Gujarat with the Baleno being the first model to roll out from there. The upcoming Ignis and Baleno RS hatchbacks, which will be sold through the premium Nexa channel, have already created a buzz in the market. Suffice it to say that Maruti Suzuki, which currently has a 47% market share in passenger vehicles (cars, UVs and vans) and 52% in passenger cars, is well placed to further increase its stranglehold on the domestic market.