Maruti sales up 16.2% in April on back of compacts, utility vehicles

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd today said it sold 117,045 vehicles in the domestic market in April, up 16.2 per cent from a year ago.

Sales at the local arm of the Japanese carmaker were led by compact cars and utility vehicles, even as sales of entry-level models such as the Wagon R and Alto fell, dropping 9.9 per cent to 31,906 units over the same period last year.

Volumes of compact car models, led by the Baleno hatchback, rose 8 per cent to 45,700 units over the year-ago period.

In a strong indicator of changing buying preference, these models now account for a larger share in the overall volumes at the car market leader as compared to mini cars that were driving volumes till a year ago.

Sales of utility vehicles too saw a two-and-half-fold jump to 16,044 units over a year ago, driven by the Brezza compact SUV, which was launched in March.

Overseas shipments remained under pressure, with exports dropping 13.7 per cent to 9,524 units over the last year. Car sales in India expanded 7 per cent, the fastest in three years, in the year that ended in March as buyers lapped up new models.

Sales are expected to remain buoyant in the current year even as Supreme Court's stricture on diesel vehicles is likely to slow the momentum for some of the firms, especially the ones with a diesel-heavy portfolio.