NEW DELHI: India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) sold around 2.34 lakh vehicles between the beginning of Navratri and the end of Diwali. During the five-day period between Dhanteras and Diwali, the automaker’s retail sales stood at around 41,000 units, a marginal growth over 2019.
“Last year we sold around 2,10,00 units during the 31-32 day period (Between Navratri and Diwali). This year, the numbers are more because there is also a pent-up demand. Overall, the numbers have been very good. However, April- October period is still 20 per cent down year-on-year as Q1 was a total washout” MSIL executive director (marketing and sales) Shashank Srivastava told this publication.
Despite tough competition from newcomer Kia Motors and aggressive expansion of Tata Motors, MSIL still holdS more than half of India’s passenger vehicle market. Its market share was recorded at 51.1 per cent by the end of October.
The carmaker is benefitting handsomely from increasing preference for personal mobility amidst Covid-19 pandemic. In MSIL’s portfolio, the share of hatchbacks in total sales has gone up as high as 64 per cent. For the industry, it still stands around 47 per cent.
Srivastava added that the company is keenly watching the mid-SUV segment which is dominated by Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta. “While our Brezza leads the entry level SUV segment, it is the mid-SUV segment that has grown in size in recent times. The size of the segment has enabled us to increase our focus... Going ahead, we will be aggressive in launching new products,” he said.
MSIL is hopeful that it would be able to maintain the current momentum till the end of December. However, it remains uncertain how the market will behave from January next year. “We are clear that things are very unclear. Car sales is very much related to GDP and per capita growth. We really don’t know which way the economy will move. Secondly, the sentiment factor is also very uncertain,” added Srivastava. Lastly, the rising cases of Covid-19 in Delhi-NCR which fuelled rumours of lockdown
at market places also remains a concern.