The writing is on the wall. In the absence of growth incentives from the government, the continuing liquidity crisis and abject lack of consumer and market sentiment, passenger vehicle sales in India are headed south.
Maruti Suzuki India, the passenger vehicle market leader, today announced its July 2019 numbers which are below the 100,000 unit mark after a very long time.
At 96,478 units, July 2019 sales/despatches in the domestic market are 36.3 percent down on year-ago sales (July 2018: 154,150). The hit on the company’s sales is so bad that all PV sub-segments are down in double digits. Add the 1,796 units of the rebadged Baleno that Maruti Suzuki sells to Toyota Kirloskar Motor as the Glanza and the overall domestic market total rises to 98,274 units, which translates into a negative 35.52 percent for July 2019.
July 2019 marks the fifth straight month of a sales decline for the PV market leader.
January: 139,440 (0.18%)
February: 136,912 (0.19%)
March: 145,031 (-1.45%)
April: 131,385 (-19.61%)
May: 121,018 (-25.06%)
June: 111,014 (-17.18%)
July: 98,274 (-35.52%)
The bread-and-butter Alto and (old) Wagon R entry hatchback segment with sales of 11,577 units is down a massive 69.3 percent YoY (July 2018: 37,710). The six-car hatchback combine of the new Wagon R, Celerio, Ignis, Swift, Baleno and the Dzire sold a total of 57,512 units, down 22.7 percent (July 2018: 74,373).
The utility vehicle segment, which for long has buffered slowing car sales for the company, too is down. At 15,178 units sold comprising the Gypsy, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and the S-Cross, sales are down 38 percent YoY.
And, finally, the Eeco and Omni vans, at 9,814 units in July 2019, are down 38 percent (July 2018: 15,791).
Slowing sales and production at Maruti Suzuki India is also having an impact on the parent company. Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan's production numbers for the first half of 2019 are down 8.8 percent.
Clearly, India Auto Inc is in dire need of a growth stimulus to revive demand in the domestic market. Apex industry body SIAM has been, for some time now, urging cutting down of GST from 28 percent to 18 percent. Will the government and the powers that be listen?
Maruti's sales numbers for July 2019
Also read: India Auto Inc reels under continuing sales slowdown, July numbers jolt industry