Maruti Suzuki India, the largest carmaker in the country, has opened the new fiscal year 2019 with a vengeance. The bellwether of the Indian passenger vehicle (PV) industry has notched domestic market sales of 163,434 units in April 2018, which marks year-on-year growth of 13.40 percent. Clearly, the carmaker is determinedly driving towards its 2 million by 2020 target.
As per Autocar Professional's estimates, this is the company's best-ever monthly sales performance in the domestic market, after the 150,521 units in September 2017. The significant volumes imply that the bellwether of the Indian passenger vehicle segment sold an average of 5,447 cars every day last month.
The growth, however, could primarily be attributed to surging sales of its range of compact cars, which include the Swift, Ignis, Celerio, Baleno and the Dzire. The collective sales of these models stood at 83,834 units, a substantial jump of 31.8 percent over the year ago sales of 63,584 units.
Clearly, the newly introduced Swift hatchback is the one to be leading the pack, where the car has been received extremely well in the market, already having registered a strong growth of 40 percent, selling 17,291 units in its maiden month of launch in February (February 2017: 12,328). Its compact sedan sibling, the Dzire, which was launched in May 2017, is also one of the major growth drivers in the compact segment for the company.
On the other hand, sales of Maruti’s entry-level Alto and the Wagon R remained almost flat (-2.8%) with combined sales of 37,794 units (April 2017: 38,897). Moreover, now what looks like a concern for the carmaker, its C-segment offering, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz sedan is seeing sales decline consistently; in April 2018, the Ciaz numbers were down 27.2 percent to 5,116 units (April 2017: 7,024).
The Ciaz is facing cut-throat competition from the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna. Now, the segment battle has just turned fiercier, with the entry of the Toyota Yaris, which is playing its cards of top-notch safety and comfort, offering a CVT across all its trims.
Surprisingly, Maruti’s sale of UVs, which comes from the quartet of the Gypsy, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and the S-Cross has also been flat at 20,804 units (April 2017: 20,638), indicating at a likely production shift to better manage the strong initial demand for the new Swift, and also a stability in the sales of the Vitara Brezza, which contributes to over 60 percent of the company’s total UV volumes.
Meanwhile, the two vans, the Omni and the Eeco sold 15,886 units, growing a good 14 percent over the 13,938 units sold in April 2017.
Read more: Maruti Suzuki reports Rs 78,104 crore revenue in FY2018, up 16.7%
Top 5 UVs – FY2018 | SUV-ival of the fittest
Top 10 Passenger Vehicles – FY2018 | Maruti's magnificent seven, Hyundai's triumphant trio
Maruti Suzuki increases its stranglehold on India’s car market to 57%
Suzuki begins exporting made-in-Gujarat Maruti Swift
India's Top 10 fuel efficient diesel cars
India's Top 10 fuel efficient petrol cars
Toyota and Suzuki confirm models to exchange under alliance pact for India