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Maruti's August maket share at 26-month low

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The Times Of India
18th September, 2019 07:29 IST

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%.

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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