Express press service
NEW DELHI: India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) sold around 2.34 lakh of vehicles between the start of Navratri and the end of Diwali. During the five-day period between Dhanteras and Diwali, the automaker’s retail sales amounted to around 41,000 units, a marginal growth from 2019.
“Last year we sold around 2.10.00 units during the 31-32 day period (between Navratri and Diwali). This year the numbers are higher because there is pent-up demand as well. Overall, the numbers are very good. However, the April-October period is still down 20 percent year-over-year as the first quarter was a total erasure, ”Shashank Srivastava, MSIL executive director (marketing and sales) told this publication.
Despite stiff competition from newcomer Kia Motors and aggressive expansion by Tata Motors, MSIL still holds more than half of the Indian passenger vehicle market. Its market share was 51.1 percent at the end of October.
The automaker is largely profiting from the growing preference for personal mobility amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In MSIL’s portfolio, the share of hatchbacks in total sales reached 64%. For industry, it is still around 47 percent.
Srivastava added that the company is closely monitoring the midsize SUV segment, dominated by Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta. “While our Brezza leads the entry-level SUV segment, it’s the mid-size SUV segment that has gained momentum lately. The size of the segment has allowed us to increase our focus … In the future, we will be aggressive in launching new products, ”he said.
MSIL hopes to be able to maintain the current momentum until the end of December. However, it remains uncertain how the market will perform from January next year. “We clearly know that things are not clear. Car sales are closely linked to GDP and per capita growth. We really don’t know where the economy will go. Second, the sentimental factor is also very uncertain, ”Srivastava added. Finally, the rise of Covid-19 cases in Delhi-NCR which fueled lockout rumors
in the markets also remains a concern.