Maruti bets big on rural demand to drive sales

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New Delhi | Published: November 22, 2018 5:39:19 AM

Maruti Suzuki India is hoping that declining trend in fuel prices and robust rural demand will lift passenger vehicle sales in the remaining months of FY19, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.

Maruti Suzuki India, share, revenue,marketMaruti Suzuki MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa (left) and senior executive director (marketing and sales) RS Kalsi during the launch of all-new Ertiga in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

Maruti Suzuki India is hoping that declining trend in fuel prices and robust rural demand will lift passenger vehicle sales in the remaining months of FY19, a senior company executive said on Wednesday. Petrol prices in New Delhi have come down 10% since hitting record Rs 84/litre on October 4. The domestic auto sales were hit during the festival season by Kerala floods, increase in insurance premium and liquidity crunch in the market.

“A lot of external factors have impacted car sales growth this year. However, we are witnessing a fall in fuel prices and the rural demand will boost further as Kharif produce arrives in the market. Hopefully, it will keep us on track for double digit growth for the current financial year,”MSIL executive director RS Kalsi said. Maruti Suzuki, country’s largest PV maker, has grown at 9% year-on-year in the seven months of the FY19; the growth during the festive month of October was flat at 0.6% y-o-y.

Kalsi said that sales picked up during the Diwali week as compared to Navratras but was far off from festive-period buoyancy in the market. “Dhanteras and Diwali fared better than Navratras period. But it wasn’t in line with our expectations,” Kalsi added. According to car dealers, Diwali festival sales were down 15-20% y-o-y across manufacturers. MSIL on Wednesday launched an all-new version of its mid-size multi purpose vehicle (MPV) Ertiga with a starting at Rs 7.44 lakh.

The petrol variants, including two automatic transmission trims, are powered by an all-new 1.5 litre engine and are priced between Rs 7.44 lakh to Rs 9.95 lakh. The diesel variants have the same 1.3 litre engine as the earlier version and are tagged between Rs 8.84 lakh to Rs 10.9 lakh.

MSIL has invested over Rs 900 crore in the development of the new Ertiga. It will take on the likes of Honda BR-V and Mahindra Marazzo in the mass market MPV space, which are available in a price range of Rs 9.45 lakh and Rs 13.9 lakh.

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