Maruti's domestic sales up, exports soar

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's biggest carmaker, has announced a 10.7-per cent increase in domestic sales in September compared to the same month last year. It sold 71,594 units, up from 64,682 units in September 2008, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Exports surged by as much 85.4 per cent to 11,712 units from 6,318 units in the year-ago period, it added.

However sales of the M800, the model that once defined the company, declined by 7.5 per cent, at 3,207 units compared to 3,467 units in September 2008. Sales in the A3 segment sales (consisting of SX4 and DZiRE) decreased 0.8 per cent to 7,356 units compared to 7,413 units in the corresponding period last year, the company said.

The 'A2' segment (comprising Alto, Wagon R, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz) saw a growth of 15.1 per cent at 52,508 units compared to 45,621 units in the same month a year ago. The production of its mid-sized Sedan SX4 was halted during the month for a change over to an upgraded version.

Maruti's passenger car sales rose by 11.7 per cent at 71,368 units against 63,917 units in the same month in 2008, the filing said.

Shashank Srivastava, Maruti's chief general manager, marketing, told newspersons in New Delhi that the company expects double-digit growth in vehicle sales this fiscal year, up to 31 March. ''We have grown 16-17 per cent in the first half, which is better than (the rest of) the industry," he said.