The arrival of the festival season a month earlier than last year helped Maruti Suzuki report a decent auto sales growth for October 2019.
Maruti Suzuki reported a 2.5% increase in its domestic market sales in October to 1.41 lakh vehicles, compared to 1.38 lakh in October last year.
This comes after a string of declines in recent months owing to an overall exhaustion in the domestic economy.
However, before celebrating the increase, it should be kept in mind that this October’s number is not fully comparable with that of last October due to the Dhanteras/Diwali factor.
Dhanteras and Diwali of 2019 came on October 25 and 26, while they fell on Nov 5 and 6 last year.
Dhanteras is considered an auspicious day to make big purchases, and many people schedule their big ticket purchases — such as those vehicles, gold and houses — on this day.
Because of this, Dhanteras and Diwali typically leads to a jump of around 15%-20% in the auto sales for the month in which they fall.
In other words, the October sales of this year should ideally be compared to the November sales of last year.
Interestingly, November 2018 — which was considered the holiday month — had seen poor sales owing to a variety of factors, including an increase in insurance rates and high fuel costs.
Nevertheless, Maruti Suzuki reported domestic market sales of 1.46 lakh in November last year.
Compared to this, the company’s October 2019 domestic sales are down about 3.5%, which is not a big decline, given the kind of falls that have been seen in previous numbers.
Moreover, when the sales to Baleno models to Toyota are included, total sales in October 2019 is 1.44 lakh, which is close to the 1.46 lakh figure posted by the company in November last year.
The decent performance seen in October has helped reduce the discrepancy in Maruti Suzuki’s auto sales in the first seven months of the current financial year to about 21% compared to the same period last year.
Almost all of the decline seen in this year’s festival month (October) sales is in the Omni/Eeco category, where sales fell from 14,053 in November last year to 10,011 in October this year.
There was a decline of only 323 in the number of cars sold in the domestic market under Maruti’s brand, and an increase of around 2,400 when sales to Toyota are also taken into account. Toyota sources its Glanza hatchback from Maruti Suzuki.
In other words, taking exports and white label sales into account, Maruti Suzuki’s total vehicle sales in October this year has remained flat in comparison to the company’s overall sales in November last year, even as they show a 4.5% increase when compared to the pre-festival month of October 2018.