Maruti Suzuki India, the largest car maker in India has reported a drop in total sales by about 5% in May 2012 compared to May 2011 sales numbers. Because of increased petrol prices compared to the May 2011, the sales of small petrol cars by Maruti have seen a sharp decline of 29% for the mini segment which includes the popular Maruti Alto, 800, A-star and Wagon R. This drop is mainly because of the hike in petrol prices which has made the running cost of small petrol cars quite high compared to diesel cars. The leading performers in the month of May 2012 have been the Maruti Ertiga and New Maruti Swift Dzire, as we reported few days back, Ertiga has already clocked a booking on higher than 32,000 in about 1 month of its launch which has sold close to 7000 units delivered in May 2012. The interesting fact is that besides being more expansive compared to petrol cars, Diesel variants of Ertiga, Swift and Dzire remain in high demand.
Sales of the new Dzire are up by 63.8% to 17707 units compared to the sales in May 2011 which is mainly because of more value for money pricing and improved features and aesthetics of the new model. The compact segment, comprising of Swift, Estilo and Ritz have also shown a growth of 14.7%. The demand for Swift is also quite strong especially in diesel which commands long waiting period because of overwhelming bookings.
The segment where Maruti Suzuki is not doing well at all is the Mid-Size Maruti SX4 segment where Maruti has sold a mere 405 units last month compared to the 2702 units sold in same month last year. The primary reason for this steep drop is the new and more competitively prices cars in this segment like the Hyundai Verna Fluidic, Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento, Honda City 2012 etc. which are giving SX4 a really tough time. We hope Maruti Suzuki will soon come out with something new to replace the SX4 or maybe refresh it to meet the competition posed by the new-age competitors which are far better in terms of exteriors and interiors.
The total sales numbers of Maruti Suzuki India (including exports) stood at 98,884 units compared to 1,04,073 units sold in same month last year which is a dip of 5%. Talking of numbers till May 2012 for this fiscal, the sales numbers are 1,99,299 compared to 2,01,228 in past fiscal which is a mild drop of 1%. We will keep an eye on how Maruti Suzuki re-aligns its products to regain its strong market share it has been enjoying for decades in India. Some of these efforts will include the Maruti Ritz 2012 which is due for launch soon, and the upcoming Maruti Alto replacement which ex expected to launch before November 2012.