India’s passenger vehicle market leader has announced its wholesales numbers for August 2022. While the 134,166 units in the domestic market indicate 30% year-on-year growth (August 2021: 103,187 units), the five-month tally of 646,170 units is a good 22% improvement on year-ago numbers (April-August 2022: 529,981).
The company is seeing growth for all its vehicle categories other than the premium Ciaz sedan. Importantly, Maruti Suzuki is seeing demand return to its entry-level models. The Alto and S-Presso together account for 22,162 units, up 8.31% YoY. For the first five months of FY2023, the duo have chalked up a total of 91,482 units, an improvement of 4.68% (April-August 2021: 87,386).
Its six-pack comprising the Baleno, Celerio, Dzire (and Tour S), Ignis, Swift and Wagon R contributed 71,557 units, which constitutes a 70% YoY increase (August 2021: 45,577). This lot of cars can be termed as the ‘bread-and-butter’ for Maruti Suzuki. Between April and August 2022, the wholesales at 361,252 units reflect a strong 30.24% increase (April-August 2021: 277,355). At this scale, they account for 56% of the company’s total wholesales.
The UVs – new Brezza, Ertiga, S-Cross and XL6 – together added another 26,932 units, up 11% YoY. For the April-August 2022 period, these four account for 131,056 units – up 12.37% YoY – and 20% of Maruti’s total PV wholesales.
The Ciaz, with 2,146 units, saw a decline of 29% (August 2021: 1,516). The Ciaz’s market performance remains the same for the April-August 2022 period: 5,567 units or down 9% (April-August 2021: 6,114 units).
The Eeco van sold 11,999 units last month, up 12.5%, while the five-month cumulative numbers are 56,813 units, a growth of 34% YoY.
Production being ramped up to meet surging demand
Maruti Suzuki India currently has a ‘problem’ of plenty. The company has new vehicle bookings of 387,000 units. This number was around 280,000 units in Q1 FY2023, but strong customer demand for the new Brezza compact SUV, launched on June 30 at Rs 799,000, and the midsized Maruti Grand Vitara, unveiled on July 20, has increased the backlog by another 100,000-odd units.
The new Brezza has 70,000 pending orders and it is learnt that Maruti plans to ramp up production of the compact SUV to over 10,000 units per month. The Maruti Grand Vitara has received over 40,000 bookings and deliveries are slated to commence this month. Meanwhile, the Baleno (38,000 units), the new Ertiga and XL6 are others with high backlogs.
Maruti Suzuki India also continues to witness strong demand for its CNG models – Alto, S-Presso, Wagon R, Celerio, Dzire, Ertiga, Eeco, Super Carry and Tour-S and more recently the Swift. Of the carmaker’s current order backlog, CNG variants account for 33% or around 126,000 units.
Clearly, Maruti has to get all its plants running at full capacity but that's easier said than done. At this stage in the fiscal, Maruti Suzuki is well placed to accelerate growth on the back of its new SUVs, huge order backlog as well as the general improved market sentiment. It’s only the inadequate chip supplies which are playing spoilsport.