Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest car maker, continued to experience flat sales for the past eight months due to the sluggish market ahead of upcoming 2019 General Elections.
The Indo-Japanese automaker clocked a marginal decline of 0.8 per cent in its February sales, as exports fell 20 per cent on an annual basis to 9,582 units, against the 11,924 vehicles exported in February 2018. Total vehicle sales, including exports, slipped 0.8 per cent to 148,682 units, against the 149,824 units sold in February 2018.
The domestic sale were pretty much stagnant with the company selling 139,100 vehicles, compared to the 137,900 units sold during the same month last year, reporting a marginal growth of 0.9 per cent. The weak performance in the domestic market was primarily due to decline in the Ciaz sales. Sales of Maruti Suzuki's mid-sized sedan Ciaz plunged by 37 per cent to 3,084 units from 4,897 units in the same period last year.
Maruti currently commands over 50 per cent of the car market in India, followed by Hyundai, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors, and Honda Cars India.
Maruti's entry-level segment portfolio, which includes Alto and WagonR, saw sales tumbling by 26.7 per cent to 24,751 units as against 33,789 units in February 2018. During April to February period, sales declined by 9.6 per cent to 352,164 units.
However, compact segment, which consists of models like Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and Dzire, offered some support to the company, with sales rising as much as 11.4 per cent to 72,678 units versus 65,213 units in February 2018.
On a positive side, the van segment witnessed robust growth, with sales jumping over 17 per cent to 14,565 units versus 12,425 units in the year ago period.
Meanwhile, sales of utility vehicles such as Gypsy, Ertiga, Vitara Brezza and S-Cross increased to 21,834 units as against 20,324 units in the same month last year, it added.
For the month of February 2019, most of the carmakers reported a decline in sales, including Hyundai, Mahindra and Mahindra. Bucking the trend, Tata Motors and Honda Cars India observed rise in sales.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar