Maruti November sales rise 16 per cent

Passenger car market leader Maruti Udyog has reported a 16.13 per cent rise in total volume sales to 55,033 units for the month of November 2006, including exports of 2,459 units, as compared to 47,391 units during November 2005. On a sequential basis, sales have declined 8.53 per cent from 60,163 units reported for August 2006. The performance is commendable as November is historically a sluggish month.

Total domestic sales for the month increased by 20.67 per cent to 52,574 units from 43,568 units a year ago. Domestic sales for the month have declined 5.94 per cent sequentially from 55,894 units during the previous month.

The premium hatchback segment or B segment continued to drive volume growth. The B segment, which includes models like Alto, Wagon-R and Swift, has reported an increase of 32.3 per cent to 37,060 units for the month as compared to 28,019 during November 2005. On a sequential basis, sales in this segment have declined 4.83 per cent.

The company is all set to launch the replacement for its Zen model, tentatively branded the Zen Estillo, later this month or early next month. The diesel version of best-selling model Swift is also expected shortly.

Sales of entry level model Maruti-800 declined by 18.3 per cent to 6,040 units as compared to 7,397 units for November 2005. Sales for the month were 4.94 per cent lower than October 2006.

The passenger van segment recorded the highest percentage growth of 36.2 per cent with sales of the Omni and Versa increasing to 7,150 units as compared to 5,250 units for November 2005.

Sales growth in the mid-sized sedan segment declined 14.5 per cent. Sales of Esteem and Baleno were at 2,083 units as compared to 2,437 units for November 2005. The company is readying a new model to replace the Baleno in the mid-size sedan segment while a sedan version of the Swift may replace the Esteem next year.

Exports declined substantially by 35.7 per cent for the month to 2,459 units from 3,823 units. Exports would increase next year as Suzuki is expected to source more units from Maruti's new assembly plant coming up at Manesar.

The company would also supply cars to Nissan under a global alliance between Suzuki and Nissan, but the proposal of joint assembly unit with Nissan has been dropped.