Maruti Suzuki, for the first time in three years, has seen a drop in sales for a particular month. The prolonged strike at its plant at Manesar, affected Maruti's production numbers and sales for the month of June nosedived sharply. Maruti Suzuki has seen a drop in sales to the effect of under four per cent over the same period last year. While in percentage terms, this may not seem much, but the sheer volume in drop is substantial, especially across model ranges.
Take the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire for instance. For the last few months, the company has been moving out 9000-11,000 units with ease, but that number has fallen to just under 2,500 units. The SX4, which had been riding on the success of the recently launched diesel variant has now been racking in numbers to the tune of 2500-3500 units a month has fallen to just over 700 units. The slow-moving A-Star too has just notched up under 1000 units while the Zen Estilo has moved south too – from 2500-2800 units a month to just 1500 units.
This overall drop in sales has come at a time when the whole auto industry is showing signs of a slowdown. Osamu Suzuki, Chairman of Suzuki Motor Corp says that he expects Maruti Suzuki to grow at 8 per cent this year, but wouldn't be surprised if the company grows at 5 per cent.
Maruti Suzuki, on its part is preparing an onslaught of launches before the financial year ends. The new Swift could arrive as early as September, the new, sub 4-metre Dzire following suit sometime by Oct-Dec and the RIII MPV by January 2012. Maruti is also currently running a scheme on petrol cars, offering six months or 6,000 kms worth of petrol for any new Maruti Suzuki petrol car purchased (exceptions are Gypsy, Grand Vitara and Kizashi). Can new launches and new marketing tactics change the fortunes for Maruti Suzuki in the coming year remains to be seen.