Maruti reports 1.7% year-on-year growth in November but small cars underperform

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Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday reported a 1.7% year-on-year growth in total sales in the month of November. The country’s largest car maker sold 138,956 units in the domestic market and another 5,263 units to other OEMs. The total sales for the company stood at 153,223 (domestic plus exports) in the month as against 150,630 in November of 2019.

Maruti has been charting a strong rebound from the challenging first several months of 2020 owing to the Covid-19-related factors that had a wide impact on the entire Indian automotive industry. While the festive period starting October bolstered prospects, it may have carried on well into November due to Diwali celebrations.

A bulk of the momentum for Maruti in the month of November came from the vans and utility vehicles sub-segment but a cause of worry came from how its mini and compact sub-segments fared. Maruti offers Alto and S-Presso in the mini sub-segment and reported a 15.1% year-on-year decline in this category. There was a 1.8% decline in the compact category which has popular offerings like WagonR, Swift, Celerio, Ignis, Baleno and the Dzire.

Interestingly, there was some revival in the sedan sub-segment with more Ciaz units sold last month than were sold in November of 2019. This figure stood at 1,870 as against 1,448 units a year ago.

Speaking to HT Auto last week, Shashank Srivastava – Executive Director, Marketing and Sales at Maruti Suzuki, had said he expects demand to stay put till at least December. “”Pent-up demand will continue till at least December end. What happens after is a bit uncertain but the move from aspiration buying to functional buying will stay as people continue to explore personal mobility options in Covid times,” he has said.

Meanwhile, Maruti underlines that it continues to prioritize safety protocols and health guidelines, and that it is working hard to ensure the well-being of customers and employees.