Maruti Suzuki sales decline 4.4% in December

Maruti Suzuki India saw its year-on-year domestic sales decline 4.4 per cent in December 2016 with 106,414 cars sold in the month. The December 2016 sales figures are quite different from what the company was expecting for the month and on 23 December; Maruti car bookings were reported to be higher by 7 per cent as against the same period in December 2015.

According to commentators, what was worrying for Maruti was that the sales of the bread-and-butter duo of the Alto and Wagon R, which sold 31,527 units in December 2016 (December 2015: 37,234), down a sizeable 15 per cent YoY, were taking the biggest hit due to the cash crunch, which had come about after the government initiated the demonetisation exercise on 8 November, 2016.

While sales figures were in the black for that month, those numbers could be a result of the festive season of Diwali, according to commentators. What was worse was that sales of its compact cars, the Swift, Ritz, Celerio, Baleno and Dzire were also down – at 43,295 (December 2015: 47,354), down 8.6 per cent YoY. Also the two vans, Omni and Eeco, which are known to push overall sales numbers were down 17 per cent to 9,224 units (December 2015: 11,122).

However, exports came to the rescue of Maruti Suzuki in December, as it posted a 47.1 per cent growth in exports during the month, as against December 2015.

Maruti was able to grow its sales by 3.5 per cent in the third quarter of the financial year 2016-17 despite the adverse impact of demonetisation.

Maruti sales stood at 1,17,908 units in December, a decline of mere 1 per cent over the previous year. In November the company had sold 135,550 units.

According to the company, its domestic passenger car sales fell 10.9 per cent in December, led by the Mini car segment consisting of Alto and WagonR, which declined 15.3 per cent to 31,527 units.