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Maruti Suzuki February sales grow a feeble 0.2%

India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday reported flat sales for the month of February, when its production was hit by the Jat agitation in Haryana. The company said its domestic passenger vehicle sales grew by a meagre 0.2% to 108,115 units last month. This is the lowest sales growth posted by the company in any month this financial year.

Last month, the agitation in Haryana demanding backward caste status for the Jat community disrupted component supplies, causing a temporary suspension of production for 2 days. The total production loss was over 10,000 units. Maruti Suzuki has the capacity to produce 5,000 vehicles daily across its two plants in Haryana. Even though it resumed production after two days, it could not operate at full capacity for a day or two as certain component makers took time to resume normal supplies.

In spite of the slippage, it managed to achieve marginal growth in domestic sales, the company said in a statement.

Maruti Suzuki’s stock price which hit a 14 month low of Rs 3,202 on Monday, was up 4.68% to Rs 3,394 on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 11.15 a.m.

The production loss seems to have impacted the mini segment most, where sales of the Alto and WagonR dropped by a sharp 11.2% to 35,495 units in February. The sale of compact segment (Swift, Ritz, Dzire, Celerio and Baleno) was flat. In the April-February period of the financial year, the company’s domestic sales growth is still at a double digit number of 11.2%, indicating it will close the year with double digit growth figures.

The flat sales numbers from Maruti Suzuki, which has a 46% share of the domestic passenger vehicle market, will also impact the industry’s sales numbers for February.