Maruti Suzuki registers 5% dip in May sales

Maruti Suzuki, still India's market leader in cars despite declining sales, today reported a further dip of 5 per cent in total sales, including exports, for May compared to last year.

Sales were at 98,884 units, down from 104,073 units sold in the corresponding period of last year. Total domestic sales in May were down 4.3 per cent, while exports sank even more dramatically at 10.9 per cent.
Segment-wise sales of hatchback model brands like the Maruti 800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR fell by 29 per cent to 29,895 units from 42,125 units sold in May 2011.

However, the compact car segment, which includes brands such as the Swift, Estilo and Ritz, grew by 14.7 per cent to 24,290 units, from 21,185 units sold in May 2011. The 'super-compact' car Dzire's sales also grew 63.8 per cent to 17,707 units, from 10,812 units.

Mid-size car SX4's sales were down as much as 85 per cent at 405 units, from 2,702 units sold in the corresponding period of 2011.

With buyers increasingly looking for diesel cars to take advantage of the 45 per cent difference between petrol and diesel prices artificially created by the government, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said that he expects the petrol segment to take a 50,000 unit sales hit while, on the other hand, diesel variants of the same models could go up to 150,000 units.

Like other carmakers, Maruti has decided to ramp up its diesel engine segment. Following the recent steep hike in petrol prices, Maruti Suzuki has announced liberal discounts on its petrol cars.

The Swift and Dzire continue to be Maruti's top sellers. Sales of the Swift, Estilo and Ritz grew 14.7 per cent in May, while sales of the remodelled Dzire jumped 63.8 per cent. The company has also almost doubled output of these two models to 31,000 this year. The jump in Dzire sales can also be attributed to the launch of a diesel variant.

Sales of the more expensive SX4 and the luxury Kizashi fell 85 and 76 per cent, respectively.