Maruti sales jump 11% in March; crosses 1 mn mark in FY10

Maruti sales jump 11% in March; crosses 1 mn mark in FY10

New Delhi: India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday reported a growth of 11.04% in its total sales in March at 95,123 units, boosted by the best ever monthly export figures.

The company had sold 85,669 units during the same month last year, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement.

It also reported a rise of 28.55% in its annual sales during the 2009-10 fiscal at 10,18,365 units, as against 7,92,167 units during the previous fiscal, helped by a spate of new launches and product refreshments.

This was also the first time ever that an Indian car maker had crossed the one million units mark for sales in a single year.

In March, MSI sold 79,530 units in the domestic market compared to 73,855 units in the same month of 2009, registering an increase of 7.68%.

Exports surged by 31.99% to 15,593 units from 11,814 units in the year-ago period, it added.

This is the highest ever monthly export by the car maker, breaking the previous record of 14,847 units achieved in August 2009, the company said.

However, sales of the company’s once bread-and-butter model M800 fell by 13.66% at 2,430 units compared to 2,762 units in March 2009, it added.

Incidentally, the car — the oldest model from MSI’s portfolio — is being phased out from 13 cities from today in line with the new emission norms which have come into effect.

The A2 segment (comprising Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz) also witnessed a fall of 1.18% in sales during March at 54,763 units compared to 55,415 units in the same month a year ago.

In the A3 segment, sales (consisting of SX4 and DZiRE) increased by 21.61% in March to 10,453 units compared with 8,595 units in the same period a year ago, MSI said.

Sales of C segment (Omni, Versa and Eeco) jumped by 80.62% at 10,875 units, as against 6,021 units in March 2009.

MSI’s total passenger car sales rose 8.82% at 78,853 units in March as against 72,461 units in the same month in 2009, it added.

During 2009-10, MSI created history by becoming the first car company in India to produce over a million units in a financial year. It achieved the feat on 23 March, when the one millionth vehicle, a Swift, was rolled out from its Manesar facility.

Subsequently, it crossed the one million sales mark on 30 March.

The company said a spate of new launches and product refreshments helped it clock the good performance. They included the Ritz, the new Grand Vitara, the new Estilo with K-Series engine, new SX4 with VVT engine and SXR with automatic transmission and the Eeco.

During the fiscal, MSI registered a growth of 20.58% in domestic sales at 8,70,790 units, as against 7,22,144 units sold in 2008-09.

The A2 segment grew by 23.82% during the year to 6,33,190 units compared to 5,11,396 units in 2008-09. The A3 segment registered a 30.80% rise to 99,315 units as against 75,928 units in the previous fiscal, MSI said.

Exports surged over two-fold to reach 1,47,575 units during 2009-10, as against 70,023 units in the previous fiscal. It was primarily driven by the company’s flagship export model A-Star which clocked a figure of 1.27 lakh units in overseas sales.

MSI also announced plans to expand its capacity to 12.5 lakh units by 2012. In March, it had announced investment to the tune of Rs1,700 crore to increase the capacity of its Maneasr plant by 2.5 lakh units.