Maruti’s Aug mkt share at 26-mth low

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Pankaj.Do­val 55

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki, which makes ev­ery sec­ond car sold in In­dia, has been hit harder by the slow­down than most pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers. Ac­cord­ing to data avail­able with the So­ci­ety of In­dian Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (SIAM), Maruti’s mar­ket share fell to 47.4% in Au­gust, the low­est for a month since June 2017 when it had dipped to 46.9%. In July, the com­pany’s share was 48.1% and in April it was 53.1%.

The com­pany that has gained most share in a fall­ing mar­ket so far is Hyundai, while new en­trants Kia and MG Mo­tors have notched up large book­ings.

Be­tween April and Au­gust, sales of Maruti’s mini and com­pact cat­e­gory (A seg­ment) of cars, that in­clude Alto, WagonR, Cele­rio, Ig­nis, Swift and Dzire, de­clined by 29%. In unit terms, the fall was from 5.6 lakh cars in April-Au­gust 2018-19 to 3.96 lakh cars this year.

Maruti says even though ab­so­lute num­bers had fallen in the com­pact cat­e­gory, the com­pany’s mar­ket share had ac­tu­ally grown marginally, in­di­cat­ing that other com­pa­nies’ sales fell even

more. “In A seg­ment, our mar­ket share in­creased from 60.2% to 60.3%,” the com­pany told TOI.

The com­pany ac­cepts that it has faced re­ver­sal in the UV/SUV cat­e­gory (B seg­ment), com­pris­ing mod­els like Brezza, S-Cross, and Er­tiga. Sales in the cat­e­gory fell 14% dur­ing April-Au­gust. Maruti at­tributes the fall to sup­ply con­straints in Er­tiga and the “shift in con­sumer pref­er­ence in SUV seg­ment to­wards petrol” where cur­rently it does not have a vari­ant.

“We are very hope­ful to gain our mar­ket share in B seg­ment, es­pe­cially due to

in­tro­duc­tion of a five-year war­ranty on S-Cross and Vi­tara Brezza and planned in­tro­duc­tion of BS6 petrol vari­ants of Brezza and S-Cross later in the year. We have in­tro­duced XL6 in this seg­ment and (are) plan­ning to in­crease pro­duc­tion of Er­tiga,” the com­pany said.

Maruti’s fall in mar­ket share has given some el­bow room to its ri­vals. Hyundai in­tro­duced Venue mini SUV and Mahin­dra launched XUV3OO — both seen as com­pe­ti­tion to Brezza. Since April 2019, Hyundai has in­creased its mar­ket share by 2.4 per­cent­age points to 19.4%.

WHO GAINS

The fall in Maruti’s mar­ket share comes just as close ri­val Hyundai in­creased its share from nearly 17% in Apr ’19 to 19.5% at the end of Aug ’19

Maruti said it is gear­ing up to tackle com­pe­ti­tion. “Any new model when launched will bring in­cre­men­tal num­bers. We wel­come com­pe­ti­tion (as) it in­spires us to re­cal­i­brate and make ex­tra ef­forts to main­tain our al­ready high mar­ket share.” The last time the com­pany’s mar­ket share fell below 50% in June 2017, it had re­gained the lost share in a month.

The com­pany said that while its planned ab­sence from diesel may be seen as wor­ri­some by an­a­lysts, the sit­u­a­tion is not alarm­ing as the mar­ket has been shift­ing to­wards petrol vari­ants.

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