Mumbai: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, India’s largest passenger carmaker, on Saturday reported a marginal drop in domestic sales of passenger cars in November to 129,837 units, against 130,732 a year ago. The figures do not includes sales of commercial vehicles and vans.

This is the fourth instance in the past five months when Maruti Suzuki posted a drop in sales, reflecting the weak retail demand scenario in India due to unfavourable macroeconomic factors and regulatory changes.

Utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, on the other hand, reported a marginal rise in domestic passenger vehicles sales to 16,188 units in November, compared with 16,030 units a year ago.

Rajan Wadhera, president of the automotive sector at the firm, cited “adverse" macroeconomic conditions for the impact on growth projections this fiscal for the automotive industry. “Going forward, we hope that decrease in fuel prices and improving liquidity will drive demand for passenger vehicles. At Mahindra, we remain upbeat due to our new product launches of the Marazzo (multi-purpose vehicle), Alturas G4 (premium SUV) and the upcoming launch of our new (compact) SUV codenamed S201."

Automakers in India report dispatches to dealerships as sales.

The compact segment comprising Baleno, Swift and Ignis hatchbacks clocked sales of 72,533 units, posting the highest rise of 10.8% over the year ago, apart from the utility vehicles category, which also posted a rise of 1.9% to 23,512 units.

Maruti Suzuki is the largest seller of utility vehicles in India, with models such as the Vistara Brezza and S-Cross in its portfolio.

The sharpest fall, of 21.6%, was reported by the mini segment comprising old workhorses Alto and WagonR, which posted 29,954 units in sales. The mid-sedan Ciaz, which was recently given a facelift, also posted a decline of 4.8% to 3,838 units.

Analysts and industry executives expect car sales for the current financial year to clock 7-8% growth, revised downward from a double-digit growth estimate at the beginning of the year. Maruti Suzuki is likely to follow suit.

After an 11% decline in vehicle registrations during the festive season this year, which accounts for nearly 30% of annual auto sales, the chances of a recovery in the remaining four months of the fiscal are slim.

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