India’s largest auto manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki has recorded a slump in domestic passenger vehicles sales. Compared to the sales in April 2018, the company recorded a slump of 19.6 per cent in sales volume. Maruti Suzuki sold 1,33,704 units in April 2019 whereas the same month last year saw the sale of 1,64,978 units, which is a significant drop in sales volumes. To let you know, Maruti’s sales figures from April 2019 also consist of 364 units of Baleno which are sold to Toyota as a part of the alliance between the companies. Toyota will sell these Baleno cars after rebadging them and has decided to call it the Glanza.
Coming back to Maruti Suzuki, despite the sales slump, the company recorded a 5 per cent sales growth in year on year sales comparison of the fiscal year 2017-18 vs 2018-19. The last few months, however, have been hard on the industry and Maruti too is under the grip of the sales slowdown. This is due to various factors which include rising fuel prices, a shift in car ownership patterns and increasing competition among others. According to a recent report, about a third of the total vehicle sales were affected by the influence of ride-hailing services like Uber and Ola.
Maruti Suzuki has cut down its production by 21 per cent in March in order to avoid the stockpiling of cars in storehouses and dealerships. Maruti has launched a number of new models, variants and facelifts in the past six months which has somewhat helped the case but still the results are not great. Some of the new cars like the Ertiga and the new WagonR have increased the sales of the respective models to quite an extent. The Ciaz, despite receiving a facelift last year took a massive dip of 45.5 per cent in sales as the company only sold 2789 units of the C-segment sedan in April 2019 against 5116 units sold in April 2018.
The entry-level and compact vehicles segment recorded a sales decline of 39.8 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively in the month of April this year compared to last year. The only segments were the company recorded growth is the utility vehicle segment, where the sales per cent went up by 5.9%. The Vitara Brezza and the Ertiga are the vehicles which come under this segment. While the Ertiga was well received being a new and a well-equipped vehicle, the growing sales of Vitara Brezza show the shift in buying towards SUVs.
Maruti recently announced it would not offer any diesel engine on its cars come April 2020. This will further impact its sales as a good chunk of its sales comprise of diesel-powered vehicles. However, the company could bring back the diesel on higher priced cars like the Ertiga and Ciaz if demand persists. Due to the BNSVAP and BSVI norms, the company also discontinued the Omni and Gypsy this year. It now remains to be seen how the market develops for the rest of the year and would the sales grow or decline further.