India’s largest carmaker Maruti has announced that it sold 1,34,036 units in June, marking a growth of 44 percent year-on-year (June 2017: 93,057), albeit on a low year-ago base. In June 2017, volumes were down due to uncertainty over GST.
Meanwhile, for the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal (April-June 2018), Maruti registered sales of 4,58,967 units (up 24.9 percent).
However, compared to April and May 2018 sales, Maruti's numbers are somewhat down in June. In May 2018, the carmaker registered total sales of 1,61,497 units, posting notable growth of 24 percent on a year-on-year basis (May 2017: 1,30,248). While it had put out its best-ever performance in April 2018, selling 1,64,434 units (up 13.40 percent).
In June, Maruti’s sales numbers received a robust charge from its range of compact cars, which includes the Swift, Baleno, Dzire, Celerio and the Ignis. These five cars collectively went home to 71,570 buyers, registering growth of 76.7 percent (June 2017: 40,496). Of these, the Swift and the Dzire remain the top grossers, with the hatchback and the compact sedan siblings in their latest third-generation avatar having become hot customer favourites in their respective segments.
In April-June 2018, these five cars have sold a total of 2,32,667 units, marking handsome 49.8 percent growth and indicative of the fact that demand has returned to the passenger car sector, in light of the sharply rising petrol and diesel prices.
The entry-level Alto and WagonR posted combined sales of 29,381 units, showing a growth of 15.1 percent (June 2017: 25,524) and bouncing back from the sales decline in May 2018. For the first quarter of FY2019, these two cars saw flat growth of 1.5 percent to 1,05,039 units.
Sales of the premium Ciaz sedan, however, continue to decline. The domestic market sales of the Ciaz, which is sold through the Nexa channel, have hit a new low of 1,579 units in June (down 60 percent) compared to sales of 3,950 units in June 2017. In Q1 FY2019, the Ciaz has sold a total of 10,719 units, down 31.7 percent over a year ago.
With competition already fierce in the C-segment space, which just became fiercer with the recent entry of the Toyota Yaris, the Ciaz needs a sales accelerator to regain its lost sheen in the market.
While sales of Maruti vans – Omni and Eeco – grew 32.3 percent to 12,185 units in June 2018 (June 2017: 12,593), the quartet of UVs – the Gypsy, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and the S-cross – sold a total of 19,321 units, posting year-on-year growth of 39.2 percent in June 2018 (June 2017: 13,879).
The Vitara Brezza compact SUV – which has been leading the charge of driving the company's growth in the UV segment – has also been recently updated by Maruti, giving it a breath of fresh air with a new orange paint scheme, blackened alloy wheels, and the option of an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), as well, in its mid- and top-spec trims.