Maruti Suzuki India has reported flat sales in the domestic market for September 2018. The country’s leading carmaker has sold a total of 151,512 passenger vehicles (+0.7%), which is slightly more than the 150,521 units sold in September 2017.
Given that sales of passenger cars is down 1.4 percent at 115,228 units (September 2017: 116,886), demand for the company’s utility vehicles have saved the blushes for the company. Maruti sold a total of 21,639 UVs last month, which is 8.7 percent growth over September 2017’s 19,900 UVs. Meanwhile, the Omni and Eeco continue to do decent numbers: 14,645 units in September 2018, which is a 6.6 year-on-year growth (September 2017: 13,735).
While its entry-level Alto and Wagon-R went home to 34,971 buyers, declining a notable 9.1 percent (September 2017: 38,479), its quintet of compact cars – the Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire – clocked 74,011 units and grew by a marginal 1.7 percent (September 2017: 72,804) in the month.
The Maruti with the fastest-growing sales, surprisingly, came in the form of the Ciaz midsize sedan which, in its facelift avatar launched in August 2018, is being seen regaining lost ground in the domestic market. Being the most value-for-money offering in the segment and sold only through the company’s premium Nexa retail channel, the Ciaz registered sales of 6,246 units in the month, growing a respectable 11.5 percent (September 2017: 5,603).
Maruti’s UVs including the Vitara Brezza, S-Cross, Ertiga and Gypsy collectively sold 21,639 units and grew 8.7 percent (September 2017: 19,900). The Vitara Brezza compact SUV also added a feather to its cap by scoring reasonably well in the frontal- and side-impact crash tests conducted by GNCAP. The Brezza received an overall safety score of four stars, something which could consolidate its image in the consumers’ mind and help accelerate the growth of the already popular crossover further.
While overall PV sales remain flat in September, Maruti’s sales numbers over the first two quarters of FY2019 between April-September stand at a handsome 908,801 units, registering growth of 10.50 percent (April-September 2017: 822,475). Where Q1 ended with a pronounced growth of almost 25 percent with overall sales reaching 458,967 units, the momentum got substantially muted July onward, owing to the impact of a rather high year-ago base created by a rush of sales with implementation of GST in July 2017. Moreover, the recent floods in Kerala also caused a dip in sales, slowing down the overall growth of the PV industry, considering the southern state is a significant consumer of both passenger cars and two-wheelers.
Nevertheless, with the onset of October and the festive season in the horizon, the sentiments are again positive in the market, with carmakers hopeful of good sales and buyers gearing up to bring home their new set of wheels.