Maruti Suzuki sells 140,337 passenger vehicles in October, up 29%
The bellwether of the passenger vehicle industry, whose production was slightly impacted by shortage of electronic components, sees good offtake in the festive month and remains bullish about strong growth coming its way.
The bellwether of the Indian passenger vehicle industry has announced its wholesales for October 2022, a month which included the 32-day festive period which began with Navratri and ended with the festival of lights, Diwali. At 140,337 units, last month’s sales are up 29% on October 2021’s 108,991 units but 5.42% down on September 2022’s 148,380 units. The company says, “The shortage of electronic components had a minor impact on the production of vehicles, mainly in domestic models.”
What’s looks good for Maruti Suzuki is that demand is gradually returning, albeit slowly, for its entry level cars – the Alto and S-Presso. The carmaker, which posted YoY growth for all its four sub-segments other than vans, saw combined Alto-S-Presso sales of 24,936 units, up 14.22% (October 2021: 21,831). Cumulative 7-month (April-October 2022) sales are 145,992 units, up 17.59%, which augurs well for the coming months.
The highest growth though has come for Maruti Suzuki’s six-pack comprising the Baleno, Celerio, Dzire (and Tour S), Ignis, Swift and Wagon R which with 73,685 units, notched strong 51% growth (October 2021: 21,831). Cumulative sales for the first 7 months are 507,113 units, up 46% YoY.
The UVs – new Brezza, Ertiga, S-Cross, XL6 and the new Grand Vitara – contributed 30,971 units, up 14.36% on year-ago 27,081 units but down 4.92% on September 2022’s 32,574 units, which were up 21% on August 2022’s 26,932 units. Maruti Suzuki is currently seeing strong demand for the recently launched Grand Vitara and the new Brezza. Cumulative April-October 2022 numbers are 194,601 units, a 20% increase over year-ago sales of 194,601 units.
What will come as some relief for Maruti is that the premium Ciaz sedan saw demand grow sharply by 76% to 1,884 units from 1,069 units in October 2021. On the cumulative sales front too, the Ciaz was the only one which was seeing a decline but with the strong October sales, the April-October 2022 tally has risen to 8,810 units, versus the 8,164 units a year ago.
The Eeco van category is where the sole decline is seen – the 8,861 units in October 2022 are down 14% on October 2021’s 10,320 units. However, on the cumulative sales front, the Eeco remains in positive territory with 78,371 units, up 29%.
Bullish on FY2023 numbers
With India’s passenger vehicle riding a wave of strong demand, total sales in FY2023 look set to hit a record 3.8 million or even 4 million units. The previous best has been 3.37 million units – 33,77,436 – in FY2019 – which will easily be surpassed. At the time utility vehicles (UVs) accounted for 29% of total PV sales and cars 65% percent. Barely three years down the line, UVs now account for nearly 50% of PV sales.
Expect Maruti Suzuki India, which in the April-September 2022 had a 41% market share, to maintain its growth momentum, more so with huge demand for the Grand Vitara and Brezza SUVs. The Brezza compact SUV recently zipped past the 800,000-unit sales milestone in a record 79 months since launch.
On its part, Maruti Suzuki has not given up on its target of achieving two million units’ sales (domestic and export combined) this year. “We are operating at 90 percent capacity utilisation – the only worry being the semiconductor supplies. We will try to match the industry growth,” said RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki India, recently.
India’s PV market leader, which currently has an estimated order backlog of over 400,000 units, is also keen to drive home its CNG advantage. The company, on the last day of October, expanded its CNG portfolio to the premium Nexa channel with the Baleno – the best-selling Nexa model – and the XL6 getting the S-CNG factory-fitted treatment. Maruti Suzuki now has all of 12 models with a CNG option and is slated to introduce the Brezza CNG, which will be India’s first CNG-powered SUV, soon.
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