Maruti Suzuki roars back, as SUV sales more than double in August

Maruti Suzuki’s SUV portfolio continued to grow at over 100% helping it consolidate its position on top

Maruti Suzuki Ltd, India’s largest auto maker, reported robust numbers for August, as it consolidated its recently acquired status as India’s top SUV maker.

The company’s total vehicle sales for August rose 14.5% on the year to 1.89 lakh vehicles, led by strong sales of SUVs.

The automaker, which recently launched the much-awaited 4-wheel drive Jimny, sold 58,746 SUVs in August — 118% higher than last year — reinforcing its position as India’s No.1 maker of utility vehicle.

This was a remarkable turnaround from a year ago, when it had sold just 26,932 SUVs in the same month.

However, compared to July, this represented a decline. Maruti Suzuki had sold 62,049 SUVs in July, up from 23,272 in July 2022.

For the first five months of this financial year, Maruti Suzuki’s SUV sales are up a whopping 87% at 2.47 lakh units.

This is much faster than former market leader Mahindra and Mahindra’s growth rate of around 30% — a key factor that has helped the Japanese carmaker to emerge as India’s No.1 SUV maker.

Meanwhile, the declining trend continued it is two other primary segments — Mini and Compact.

In the mini segment, which comprises Maruti Suzuki Alto and S-Presso, sales nearly halved to 12,209 from 22,162 in August last year. This was, however, better than the 9,590 mini cars it had sold in the preceding month of July 2023.

In the bread-and-butter compact segment — also known as the mid-hatchback segment — sales were flat compared to last August, but up compared to the preceding month of July 2023.

Total sales in the compact segment was at 72,451, compared to 71,557 last year and 67,102 in July.

Eeco sales remained largely stable at around 12,000 units per month, while those of its lone commercial vehicle — Eeco — too was largely stable at around 2,500.

Sales to Toyota picked up to 5,790 from 4,746 in July, but were on the downtrend on year-on-year basis. Maruti had sold 6,155 vehicles to Toyota in August last year and 9,939 vehicles in July 2022.

Exports were the only segment that showed a clear growth, other than SUVs.

Total exports rose to 24,614 from 21,481 last year and 22,199 in July.