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Maruti Suzuki has been experiencing flat sales in India for the past eight months. According to the company, there has been a decrease in the demand for cars in India, compared to the last couple of years.
Commenting on the flat sales of Maruti Suzuki in the country, Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki, told Economic Times that one of the main reasons for this are the upcoming 2019 general elections. He also stated that the company is also finding it difficult to attract potential customers towards their products in the Indian market.
He stated, "Demand has become slow compared to the past few years. That is true. How we are going to find potential customers that is a very important issue. It takes time, we expect, after elections, once again it (the market) will come up."
Maruti Suzuki had expected sales volume to grow by 5 per cent in the fourth quarter, especially after the launch of their new Wagon R hatchback. However, due to the sluggish market, the company recorded growth of just 1.1 per cent in January and 0.9 per cent in February.
Maruti Suzuki has recorded a decline in passenger vehicle sales for the sixth time in the domestic market. Weak consumer sentiments and increased insurance costs have further led to a decline in sales.
According to Maruti Suzuki, the carmaker had to revise their fiscal year sales projections. The company has already revised its growth target to 8 per cent from the previous double-digit figures.
Another challenge for car manufacturers in India is the transition to BS-VI emission norms. India will see the implementation of stricter BS-VI emission norms in the country from 1st April 2020. However, ahead of its implementation, most car makers will face a number of challenges in terms of production and inventory management.
Ayukawa stated, "I think we cannot focus so much on one way to reduce oil consumption and environmental concern. To achieve that objective, various approaches are available — electric is one approach, hybrid another and then CNG."
Maruti Suzuki recently launched the CNG variant of their new Wagon R hatchback in the Indian market. The new Maruti Wagon R is offered with a starting price of Rs 4.85 lakh, ex-showroom (Delhi).
Apart from the CNG model, Maruti Suzuki is also testing its first electric vehicle for the Indian market. The new Maruti Wagon R EV has already been spied testing in India on multiple occasions and is expected to launch sometime in 2020. Maruti is also working with Toyota India to set up a lithium-ion battery production facility in India.
Thoughts On Maruti Suzuki Sales In India
Maruti Suzuki has been experiencing flat sales in the country for quite a while now. Apart from Maruti Suzuki, other car makers in India have also been recording declining sales in the market. However, most of these automotive brands are expecting sales to improve after the general elections in India.