Mumbai: Owing to a planned reduction in volumes of its mid-sized sedan Ciaz and a high base, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Wednesday reported a marginal fall in domestic car sales to 136,636 units in July from 137,584 units in the year-ago period. These figures do not include sales of Maruti Suzuki’s Omni and Eeco vans, and light commercial vehicle Super Carry.
Automakers in India consider dispatches to dealerships as sales. Maruti Suzuki has reported a fall after several months of robust demand for its wide range of cars.
During July last year, inventory stocking was unusually high as consumers had deferred purchases in the preceding months expecting a lower tax outgo post the implementation of the goods and service tax (GST) on 1 July.
As the local subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corp. plans to introduce the next-gen Ciaz on 20 August, sales of the premium sedan stood at 48 units in July as compared to 6,377 units a year ago.
Other segments also reported lower-than-expected sales.
The compact car segment, which makes up the bulk of Maruti Suzuki sales, grew 17.8% to 74,373 units on the back of demand for the 2018 Swift and continued interest in premium hatchback Baleno and compact sedan Dzire. In the past few months, this segment had been reporting growth upwards of 20%.
The sports utility vehicles (SUV) segment, including the best-selling Vitara Brezza and S-Cross models, posted a 4.9% decline in sales to 245,050 units over July last year.
Sales of entry-level cars Alto and WagonR declined even further by 10.9% to 37,710 units.
However, this month’s sales are expected to be an aberration as Maruti Suzuki is expected to maintain its leadership position this year on the back of a refreshed product portfolio.
Motorcycle and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto Ltd also reported its domestic motorcycle sales in July, which grew by 22.1% to 201,433 units.
The government’s focus on developing infrastructure and the rural sector, coupled with expectations of a normal monsoon, are likely to boost the overall economy and thus, the automobile industry.