Maruti Suzuki India’s sales pick up in slow recovery for car makers

03, Jul. 2020

Photo by Rohit Arora on Unsplash
Photo by Rohit Arora on Unsplash

NEW DELHI, NNA – India’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. is seeing a recovery as the world’s fifth largest automobile market is on track to resume business throughout the country.

While June sales are much better than May's lacklustre performance, they are still a far cry from a year ago for all car makers.

Looking on the positive side, Maruti Suzuki sold 51,274 passenger vehicles in the domestic market in June. The figures represented a 53.8 percent drop from a year ago, said the subsidiary of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. in a press release on Wednesday.

June sales jumped 3.7-fold from the preceding month, which posted 13,865 passenger car sales or an over 80 percent year-on-year plunge, according to the carmaker.

Maruti Suzuki had resumed manufacturing following a nationwide lockdown imposed from March 25. It reopened its Manesar facility on May 12 and Gurugram plant on May 18 as restrictions on business activities and movements eased in stages in the country.

Production also resumed at Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt Ltd (SMG) in the western state of Gujarat from May 25. It manufactures cars on a contract basis for Maruti Suzuki, according to the company.

Other automakers in India also reported a mild recovery.

Comparing June performance with a year ago, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. recorded a 57.1 percent drop to 8,075 units. But this is more than twice its May sales.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd. (TKM) sold 3,866 units in June, down 63.5 percent from a year earlier, but this is more than double the 1,639 units sold in May.

Demand is gradually picking up "with strong support from our dealer partner,” Naveen Soni, senior vice president of TKM sales and service, said in a statement on Wednesday.

But car buyers are prudent with their money after the economy was severely battered by the COVID-19 crisis and still reeling from it.

The post-COVID market has shown "a shift towards entry level suffix in all products that we sell," noted Soni. The company will monitor consumer behavior and adjust future production if necessary, he added.