Maruti sales slump as carmakers drive into slow lane in October

Sales of car market leaders Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor slumped in October even as other carmakers managed to cash in on the festive season, reporting higher sales in October - though not nearly to the extent seen in the previous few years. In fact, the small increase in sales brought little cheer to most of them.

Mahindra & Mahindra, India's biggest utility vehicle maker, was the biggest gainer, reporting a 20 per cent jump in sales. Nonetheless, it was a 6 per cent drop compared to the previous month.

Tata Motors also reported increased sales, although by just 5 per cent.

Maruti, India's biggest carmaker owned 54.2 per cent by Japan's Suzuki Motor Co, has seen a massive loss in production due to a series of strikes by workers at its plant in Manesar, in Haryana, since around June this year. This has reflected in its sales figures, while its market share has also dropped due to long waiting lists for its cars, prompting buyers to shift to other manufacturers.

Maruti reported a 53.25 per cent drop in sales in October, while its market share has dwindled from 55 per cent to just about just 39 per cent.

The overall sales of Tata Motors were up by just about 5 per cent to 68,000-odd units, but the growth has been very small if one sees their passenger car sales, which were only about 3 per cent higher, as CNBC-TV18 reports. Commercial vehicles growth, which used to be in double digits, was only around 9 per cent.