Kerala floods effect: Maruti sales decline 3.7% in August
Maruti gets around 8% of its retail sales from Kerala
New Delhi: Despite introducing a facelift of its mid-sized sedan Ciaz in August, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Saturday reported a decline in sales for the second consecutive month.
Domestic car sales fell 3.72% to 132,232 units in August from 137,339 units a year ago. The figures do not include sales of Maruti Suzuki’s Omni and Eeco vans, and light commercial vehicle Super Carry.
The local subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corp., which reported a decline in sales in July after several months of robust demand for its wide range of cars, attributed the “adverse” fall to severe floods in Kerala and heavy rains in other parts of the country.
Automakers in India consider dispatches to dealerships as sales.
Maruti gets about 8% of its retail sales from the flood-stricken state. While analysts expected India’s largest carmaker to report subdued sales during the month, a decline was not in line with expectations since Maruti introduced facelifts of popular models such as the Swift hatchback and DZire compact sedan earlier this year.
The compact car segment, which makes up the bulk of Maruti Suzuki’s sales, declined 3.6% to 71,364 units in August. With the exception of July, this segment had been reporting growth upwards of 20% in the past few months.
While sales of entry-level cars Alto and WagonR grew marginally to 35,895 units during the month, the sports utility vehicles (SUV) segment, including the best-selling Vitara Brezza and S-Cross models, posted the sharpest decline at 16.2% to 17,971 units over last year. Sales of the Ciz grew 8.4% to 7,002 units in August.
With the onset of the festival season this month, Maruti is expected to report a double-digit rise in sales for the current financial year and maintain its leadership position on the back of a refreshed product portfolio.
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