Manesar hurts MSIL sales while other auto makers sail smooth

Tuesday 04 September 2012, 11:03 AM by

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the country's largest passenger car maker, suffered an astonishing 35 per cent drop in sales, a very unlikely outcome for the company. The company's sales were severely impacted by its Manesar facility's in-operation that lasted almost an entire month and costed the company millions of revenues and production. Most of the other Indian car makers also registered meagre sales but Maruti Suzuki and Manesar lockout clouded the entire scene. Manesar facility resumed its operations on August 21, 2012 and helped Maruti to sell 50,129 units in the Indian market. The Indian car maker also registered a 72 per cent drop in exports as well with just 4,025 units exported in August this year.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers too has decreased its sales target of cars to 9 per cent from the previously projected 10-12 per cent, largely due to the inflating loan rates and petrol prices. The launch of many new vehicles has failed to boost the current subdued mood prevalent in the Indian car market with most of the buyers deferring their plans to invest in a new vehicle.

Reportedly, the South Korean auto major registered a 6 per cent sales growth with its 28,257 cars sold in the market in August this year. Rakesh Srivastava, Vice President (VP), National Sales, Hyundai, said, “ The market demand is suppressed due to general inflationary trend, high fuel prices and interest rates. Unless any major triggers get activated, the market is not expected to improve much even in coming months.” The company's latest launch in the executive segment, the revamped Sonata saloon failed to entice Indian enthusiasts mainly due to the gloomy market situation and a lot of apprehension among car buyers.

Tata Motors, one of the country's leading automobile maker, registered a sharp rise of 33 per cent in the passenger car sector with 22,311 units sold in August as compared to 16,829 units sold in the same period last year. Nano, the world's cheapest car, is reported to be the reason behind the sales boost and the company sold 6,507 Nano cars in the last month. Tata Motor's Utility Vehicle (UV) fleet comprising Safari, Sumo and Aria also recorded a 38 per cent sales growth with its 4,584 units sold in August.

Mahindra and Mahindra Limited, the country's leading UV maker, maintained its strong growth record with its sales rising by of 39 per cent, besides the company sold 21,831 units in August 2012. Toyota Kirloskar Motor also followed the league and reported strong sales record. Reportedly, Ford India's sales in the domestic territory grew by 6 per cent at 7,840 units sold in August 2012.

The Indian festive season is just round the corner and industry experts have predicted a sharp growth in Indian auto market during upcoming months. The festive period is when most car makers offers freebies along with exciting discounts and finance offers.

Underlining the company's strong sales record, Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India, said, “Our customers are able to identify with our sporty cars that has made us the fastest-growing brand in the luxury car segment.” Audi India is expecting to surpass its 8,000 sales target by the end of year.

Sageraj Bariya, managing partner at Equitorials said, “Consumers are wary in the market conditions amid uncertain economic conditions.”

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