Maruti Suzuki sees 14.4% drop in May car sales

Maruti Suzuki India, the country's biggest car-maker, today reported a 14.4 per cent decline in its total sales during May, at 84,677 units, against 98,884 units sold in the corresponding month last year.

Domestic sales for the company were down 13 per cent in May 2013 at 77,821 units, against 89,478 units in May 2012, Maruti Suzuki said in a statement from its Delhi headquarters.

Maruti's exports last month went down by 27.1 per cent to 6,856 units from 9,406 units in the year-ago period, the company said.

However, sales of the company's mini cars, including the M800, A-Star, Alto and WagonR, rose by 5.1 per cent to 31,427 units from 29,895 units in May 2012.

In the compact segment (comprising the Estilo, Swift and Ritz models), Maruti witnessed 29.4 per cent fall in sales at 17,147 units as against 24,290 units in the same month a year ago.

Sales of the DZiRE model fell by 2.5 per cent to 17,265 units from 17,707 units in the corresponding period a year ago.

The company's mid-sized sedan SX4's sales increased by 24.2 per cent to 503 units from 405 units in the year-ago month.

Luxury sedan Kizashi saw no buyer at all last month, compared to sales of 12 units in May 2012.

Sales of utility vehicles went down by 44.3 per cent to 4,307 units from 7,734 units in the year-ago period. Sales of vans dipped by 24 per cent to 7,172 units from 9,435 units in the same month last year.

Maruti's total passenger car sales declined by 8.3 per cent to 66,342 units in May from 72,309 units in the same month in 2012.
Meanwhile, reports from Gujarat points to a new development, with some farmers opposed to Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government's plan to declare the Mandal-Becharaji belt where Maruti Suzuki's 640-acre third plant site also falls as special investment region (SIR).

For Maruti Suzuki, already hit by labour troubles at its Haryana facility and a weak market, this might be the start of fresh trouble.

Though, these farmers are not against the Maruti Suzuki plant, they are opposed to the state government's decision to declare the vast fertile land as SIR. The farmers are planning to make a representation to the state government against diverting fertile land for industrial purposes.

Maruti Suzuki is setting up a plant at Handalpur near Bechraji in Mehsana district of Gujarat, with scheduled commissioning by mid-2015. Production at the new facility is expected to commence by 2015-16.

The Rs4,000-crore plant will have an annual production capacity of 2.5 lakh vehicles.