Maruti, Hyundai expect year-end sales spike


Contrary to expectations that car sales dip in December, auto majors Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India are poised to grow 30 per cent in sales (the two companies control 72 per cent of the domestic market). General Motors is looking at 70-80 per cent increase in sales.

Car makers add that even though this month’s demand is on the low base of last year, the trend is unusually strong. This, when the consumer is aware of the launch of new models over the next two quarters.

“Usually when new launches are expected, sales of the concerned segment gets impacted. Surprisingly, the momentum built over the last few months has been sustained this month. Even the year change effect on sales has been negligible”, said an executive from a top car producing company.

Maruti Suzuki, which has a domestic market share of 45 per cent, expects sales to hit 68,000-69,000 units this month, a growth of 33 per cent over the same month last year.

Similarly, US auto brand Chevrolet (owned by General Motors) which is heavily promoting its most eagerly awaited model, Beat (a hatchback), has stated that demand for the two-year-old Spark has only gone skyward this month.

The Spark is sold at a cash discount of Rs 47,000 in addition to a free stereo system from Kenwood and a free maintenance package worth Rs 13,000.

Ankush Arora, vice president (sales, service and marketing), General Motors India, said, “We should close the year (January-December) with sales of above 65,000 units. Demand was mildly sluggish during the start of the month, however in the last 10 days it has gathered pace.”

GM India expects sales to rise 70-80 per cent this month to 7,000 units as compared with 4,041 units sold in the same month a year ago. The company would be launching the Beat, a five-seater compact car in the price band of Rs 3.6 lakh to Rs 4.2 lakh in January.

Korean car maker Hyundai Motors too is expecting the surge in demand to continue this month as well with a growth of 30 per cent in domestic sales. Its sales had jumped by 92 per cent last month to more than 28,000 units.

With exciting offers including Rs 37,000 savings on the flagship car i10 and a Rs 28,900 saving on the Santro Xing, the company stated that its total sales could be more than 20,000 units this month from 15,000 units same month last year.

Arvind Saxena, senior V-P marketing and sales, Hyundai Motor India said, “We do expect to continue to grow in double digit for the last month of 2009. Year-on-year, we should grow 30 per cent in the same month. Sales have been steady and growing over the last few months and we expect the trend to continue this month as well”.

Buoyed by a robust demand for compact cars (77 out of 100 cars sold in India are compact with length of under 4 metre) manufacturers from around the world are eagerly waiting to launch small cars in India.