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While the industry wide slowdown news has become commonplace by now, the latest company to report a fall in sales is Maruti Suzuki. The company has stated that the monthly sales for the month of April 2019 were 19.6% lower when compared to the same month of 2018. This marks a huge gap in the sales of the months from two years as the figures for the April of 2019 are 1,33,704 units and the figure for April of 2018 was 1,64,978 units.
The total sales figures of the company also includes the Glanza models that the maker will supply to Toyota. However, the news is not all bad for the largest carmaker of India as the company has also reported a growth of 5 percent in overall sales as compared to last year. The sales of the company for the year 2018-19 was 5 percent higher than the sales for the year 2017-18. However, the past few months have been disappointing for the entire industry and Maruti Suzuki is no exception to the general trend of slowdown.
The general slowdown that is visible in the auto industry in India is not due to one reason alone. A lot of factors are responsible for the same. A major reason behind the slowdown is the rise in fuel prices all over the country. Then comes the shift in prices of the models themselves due to the introduction of new safety norms in India. Another reason for the slowdown in sales is the changing consumer behavior pattern in the country. As ride hailing services make ingress even in smaller cities of India, the consumer behavior regarding the ownership is changing. The jam packed streets of India are also pushing customers to non self-driving experiences and the cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber are making the most of the situation. Things are so serious that a recent report stated that the rise of cab aggregation services impacted around a third of car sales in India. As far as long term leasing is considered, that too is gaining priority as several makers themselves are now entering the car leasing services by partnering various car rental services in India.
The company had already announced a scale back in production of vehicles in order to prevent piling up of inventory. The company has witnessed mixed response from various measures it has taken to prevent pile up of inventory. Even the models have not been performing as per company’s expectations and while Ertiga and WagonR have registered increase in sales post facelifts, the case of Ciaz sedan has been different as even a facelift could not boost the sales of the car as per company’s liking.
While the company has registered a growth in the UV segment, the other segments have only registered a negative growth. The coming times may prove to be even more challenging for the company as it has decided to discontinue sales of diesel models in India once the BS-VI emission norms will come into force from April 2020.