Maruti Suzuki March sales up 14%, reports record sales in fiscal 2015-16

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd has reported a 14.6 per cent jump in domestic sales in March with sales of 118,895 units, helped by new model launches and advancement of purchases by customers wanting to beat post-budget tax hike.

Maruti Suzuki also closed the financial year 2015-16 with its highest ever sales of 1,429,248 units, a growth of 10.6 per cent over a year ago.

Sales were led by new model offerings, including the Baleno and Brezza, launched in October and March, respectively, the company stated in a release.

Besides the new models, an advancement of purchase by customers to beat the price hike post-budget, helped rev up car sales.

Most car makers, including Maruti, have raised prices to beat the cost hike following a levy of a 2 per cent infrastructure cess and other surcharges, proposed in the union budget for 2016-17.

Car sales that had been expanding at a brisk pace till January declined 4.2 per cent in February.

The Indian arm of Japanese car maker Suzuki Motors, which has been the car market leader in India since its inception, closed the financial year 2015-16 with its highest ever sales of 1,429,248 units, a growth of 10.6 per cent over a year ago.

This includes the highest-ever domestic sales of 1,305,351 units and 123,897 units of exports.

Maruti's increasing focus on the model mix and customers' fancy for the company's compact car models, including the Swift, Ritz, Dzire, Celerio and Baleno models, which went up 20 per cent to 46,768 units over the year-ago period, also helped the company to push sales.

Maruti's pricier models now account for a higher share in its total sales as compared to entry-level models Alto and Wagon R, whose sales rose only 8.7 per cent to 36,678 units.

For the fourth year in a row, Maruti's top four best-selling models - Alto, Dzire, Swift and WagonR – are also the top selling brands in the country.

Maruti's nearest competitor and second largest player Hyundai reported a 15 per cent growth in domestic sales in the last financial year. It's March sales, however, grew by just 4 per cent.

The two companies together account for 64 per cent of the cars sold in the domestic passenger vehicle market.