India's largest carmaker suffers 2 per cent decline in sales.
Despite pushing its manufacturing facilities to the limits, Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker, had to suffer a more than 2 per cent decline in sales in March due to a slack demand for its products. However, arch-rival Hyundai posted a 66 per cent growth in sales during the same period.
Maruti has undertaken a capacity expansion programme at its Manesar facility to tide over the production constraint.
The company sold 70,296 units in March (including exports of 5,875 units) compared with 71,772 units in the same period last year.
However, a surge in the bookings for the newly launched DZire (5,658 units) helped the company register a more than 200 per cent growth in the A3 segment, which also has the SX4 model.
Aniket Mhatre, an auto analyst at Prabhudas Liladhar, said, “If the sales generated through DZire and the exports were taken out, the figures then will be flat for the company. The excise duty cut has also not shown any positive impact on the sales of the company. The outlook for the company does not look bright due to a stagnant demand for its models.”
Hyundai India, on the other hand, has shown a robust growth at 66 per cent with 47,001 units during the month, thanks to the i10 model. The company had sold 28,239 units in the same month of the previous year.
H S Lheem, managing director, HMIL, said, “We are delighted by our sales touching an all-time high. The newly launched compact i10 has done well and is on its way to becoming a popular car. Also, with the commissioning of our new plant, we are in a position to meet the growing demand from domestic and overseas customers.”
For the quarter ended March 2008, Hyundai registered a 42 per cent growth in sales, while Maruti had to satisfy with 1 per cent.
General Motors India posted a 51 per cent rise in sales at 6,836 units compared with 4,542 units in the same month last year. The Indian arm of the US car maker managed healthy sales from its small car Spark, which sold 2,396 units. Tavera and Aveo also aided the growth.
“Our brand has exceeded the expectations of our customers in terms of performance, attractiveness, quality and value for money,” said P Balendran, V-P, GM India.
Mahindra & Mahindra recorded a growth of 1 per cent at 15,366 units during the month against 15,210 units in the comparable month of 2007. Mahindra Renault sold 3,068 units of Logan.
Tata Motors recorded a 4 per cent drop in sales at 24,737 units compared with 25,760 units in March 2007. Small car Indica witnessed a drop of 14.7 per cent in sales at 13,042 units during the month.
Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) posted a 4.8 per cent growth at 8,895 units in March 2008 compared with 8,487 units in March 2007. The company’s sales suffered due to slow growth in the Accord segment as the vehicle was withdrawn from production last year. The City sedan sold 6,492 units during the month.
Skoda India registered sales growth of 27 per cent at 2,050 units during the month against 1,612 units in the same month a year ago. It recorded sales of 702 units of Fabia during the period.