The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India reported 10.3% increase in its auto sales for December, slightly slower than the 14.1 percent reported for November.
The total sales was at 1.30 lakh units compared to 1.55 lakh in November and 1.18 lakh in the same month last year.
The company’s domestic sales stood at 1.19 lakh, up 12.1%. However, exports fell by 6.2% in December to 10,780, which dragged down the overall growth rate to 10.3%.
Domestic sales of 1.19 lakh was considerably below the November number of 1.45 lakh units.
It is, however, not unusual to see a slight sequential dip in December as demand takes time to recover after the festival season (Oct-Nov).
In December, sales of the compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo, Dzire and Baleno jumped by 23% to 53,336 units. This segment has been driving sales every since the new Dzire was unveiled a few months back.
However, despite the strong numbers, growth in this crucial segement was slower in December compared to November. In November, this segment had risen 32.4 percent to 65,447 units.
The company did not explain the reason for the slowing of the sales.
Demand for the new Dzire is unlikely to be a problem as the model is reported to have an order backlog of several months at dealers.
More disappointingly for the company, sedan Ciaz continued to see deceleration.
It sold just 2,382 units in December, possibly the lowest monthly number in its history and a far cry from the 8,000 range seen in some of the initial months.
Ciaz sales saw a 36% decline on year. Last month, Ciaz sales declined by 26.2 percent to 4,009 units during the month.
It is likely that the new Dzire is eating into Ciaz’ sales.
Sales of mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, witnessed a 2 percent increase to 32,148 units.