Auto woes: Blockbuster models Ertiga, Swift decline

Maruti's blockbuster models, Swift as well as Ertiga, have shown a sharp sales decline in April but the Alto, which was becoming a cause for worry last fiscal, has staged a smart turnaround.

Sindhu Bhattacharya May 01, 2013 11:44:41 IST
Auto woes: Blockbuster models Ertiga, Swift decline

New Delhi: Maruti's blockbuster models, Swift as well as Ertiga, have shown a sharp sales decline in April but the Alto, which was becoming a cause for worry last fiscal, has staged a smart turnaround.

Since the numbers car makers provide are wholesale numbers, which means dispatches from factory to dealers, it is possible that retail sales or sales from dealerships to customers have already been slowing for these two blockbuster models in previous months.

Auto woes Blockbuster models Ertiga Swift decline

A Maruti spokesperson sought to play down this decline, saying too much should not be read into these numbers. Reuters

A Maruti spokesperson sought to play down this decline, saying too much should not be read into these numbers which reflect sales of only one month. Anyway, the overall market continues to be subdued and now, with petrol prices being reduced sharply by Rs 3 since yesterday, diesel car offtake could well slow down further. This may not immediately spur sales of petrol cars but adversely affect sales of diesel; almost every other car sold by Maruti is a diesel.

According to sales figures released by the company for April 2013, the mini car category grew and that too by almost 14 percent last month for the first time since October 2012. The Alto, which is the highest selling single car in India, sold 19900 numbers this April compared to just 17800 units in the same month last year. This is an increase of almost 12 percent year on year. The spokesperson said demand for the new Alto has risen, leading to an increase in the overall sales for he mini car category where sales of Alto, M800, A Star and WagonR together rose to 34,927 units (30,720 units). WagonR sales also inched up to 12,800 (10,200).

Utility Vehicles, which has been the fastest growing vehicle category for the industry as well as for Maruti, showed a shocking decline in April. For Maruti, it primarily means sales of the Ertiga - the product which has saved Maruti the blushed all of last fiscal when a massive sales slowdown in the passenger car market was muted by blockbuster sales of Ertiga. In April, the total sales of Ertiga, Gypsy and Grand Vitara were 5,318 units (5,593 units) and this was almost entirely due to a decline in Ertiga sales.

The other shocker was sales of compact cars, which in Maruti's case means total sales of Swift, Estilo and the Ritz. This category slowed to 21,535 units (26,072 units). Within it, the Swift slowed down to 16,500 units against 19,500 units it sold in April 2012.

The Dzire continued to sell large numbers despite a new challenge emerging in the form of Honda's Amaze in April. Dzire sales grew over 25% to 19,446 units (15,510 units). But the SX4 declined by 5.2 percent to 601 units (634 units). And the van category continued to degrow with sales falling by almost 26% to 8,696 units (11,723 units).

Overall, thanks to Alto and Dzire, Maruti's domestic sales managed to remain largely at last year's levels with 0.3 percent. gain at 90,523 units (90,255 units). Even on the exports' front, the slowdown only deepened further: exports were down over 33 percent to just 6,779 units (10,160 units). Including exports, Maruti's total sales were down 3.1 percent.

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