Maruti Suzuki kick started the current financial year with a projection of double digit growth in sales. And why not. In the first quarter, the company posted a massive 25% growth. This was at a time when the industry grew by less than 10%. But, it did not take time for sales growth to decline.
A flat growth in recent months has forced the automaker to revise its 2018 growth rate to 8%, from previous double digit target. The slowdown in demand is attributed to increase in insurance rates and costs, fuel prices and interest rates; and also to the absence of a new model launch in volume segment.
Fourth quarter sales push will be provided by the new product launch in the volume segment – New Maruti WagonR will be launched on 23rd Jan 2019. Due to this, Maruti is expecting to increase sales growth to 5%. This would mean Maruti will end this fiscal with an overall growth of 8%.
RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., told Economic Times that, according to the company’s analysis, sales always fell in the last two pre-election years and picked up substantially in the election years.
So, the outlook for the fourth quarter of this financial year is positive. Lack of a new product launch this year in the volume segment is also one of the primary reasons for the slowdown in growth. The recently launched new Maruti Ertiga MPV has garnered over 23,000 bookings and this would help the company achieve its aggressive sales target for the month of December.
The WagonR has always been one of Maruti Suzuki’s top selling models in the country. The next generation model is expected to offer a significant boost in sales. 2019 Maruti WagonR will adopt a new design, and will be longer, roomier and better equipped than its predecessor. It will lock horns with the newly launched second generation Hyundai Santro.
As the company is gearing up to upgrade to BS-VI emission norms by April 1, 2020, it is planning to stop production of most of its BS-IV models by December 2019. The new BS-VI models will be introduced starting from next financial year.