Maruti Suzuki India has made the headlines for a good part of April, be it the launch of the BS-VI compliant Alto, the introduction of a 1.5-litre diesel engine in the premium Ciaz sedan and the Ertiga MPV , and the plan to stop manufacturing diesel-engined passenger vehicles from April 2020. Now comes the news that the country's leading PV maker has registered poor sales / despatches in April 2019. The performance comes on the back of single-digit growth in FY2019 (1,729,826 units / +5.3%), albeit the company notched its highest-ever domestic market sales in the past fiscal year.
April 2019 sales performance
The entry level passenger car duo of the Alto and old Wagon R hatchbacks sold a total of 22,766 units, down 39.8 percent year on year (April 2018: 37,794). The seven-model compact car lot (new Wagon R, Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno, Dzire, Dzire Tour S) accounted for 72,146 units, down 13.9 percent (April 2018: 83,834).
The premium Ciaz sedan saw its sales fall sharply by 45.5 percent to 2,789 units (April 2018: 5,116). Now, equipped with a new 1.5-litre diesel engine, the Ciaz could see some much-needed traction.
The quartet of utility vehicles (Gypsy, Ertiga, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza) was the only segment to be in positive territory with sales of 22,035 units, up 5.9 percent (April 2018: 20,804).
Even the two vans, Omni and Eeco, were down in April 2019 with 11,649 units, which marks a de-growth of 26.7 percent (April 2018: 15,886).
Overall domestic market sales for Maruti Suzuki last month totalled 131,385 units, down a substantial 19.6 percent year on year (April 2018: 163,434). The company has, during April 2019, sold 364 units (under 'Sales to other OEM') which means the rebadged Baleno to Toyota Kirloskar Motor, which will retail the car as the Glanza.
The company, which is targeting combined sales of 2 million PVs in the year FY2020, was about 137,551 units short of that milestone in FY2019. It will have to recharge itself with an aggressive model and sales strategy if that 2020 goal is to be achieved.
Given the performance of the market leader, which has a 51 percent PV market share and is the bellweather of the industry, expect other OEMs too to report slow growth or de-growth. Stay tuned for more reports.
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