“Kitna deti hai?” this question is widely used by potential customers while buying a car and extent to which it is asked has surpassed the amount of cars made by the company which made use of this in their adverts. This year Maruti Suzuki has been a record breaking year. It’s been 33 years since this home grown company is in the market and it tops the charts of sales once again with the best ever sales number – a whopping 11.48 lakh units in 2014 toppling their previous best in 2010.
When we see the market growth segment wise, passenger car growth was 45% from April till November and Maruti Suzuki having not just one car to rely for it sales but quite a few gave them the Number one spot this year. Looking closely we understand that Maruti managed to launch and improve many cars be it the Automatic Celerio and Alto K10 with the all new sedan Ciaz and facelifts of its golden boy Swift. All these played an important role getting Maruti Suzuki to climb up the charts keeping intact the established highlights of value for money, efficiency and low maintenance even when there were companies struggling to keep up with the high input costs and inflation in the economy.
This had an astonishing effect on the shares and the shares of this auto giant have been doubled since the last year which helps Maruti to get shareholder sanction for the divisive Gujarat facility, which was earlier opposed by many of the shareholder. Maruti vehicles grabbed 4 places in top 5- selling cars. While the very popular small car Alto stayed at top with 24,200 units, Swift and Wagon R took 2nd and 3rd place with 17,900 and 13,545 units’ sales respectively. Further, customer’s favorite choice Swift Dzire managed to occupy no. 4 with 12,000 units. The total sales of the company during this period (April – November) went up by 13.1% to 8,35,912 units against the 7,39,247 units sales recorded in the same period a year ago.
As excise duty benefits to the automobile industry are going to lapse on December 31, Mr. Bhargava was of view that if the government does not extend the benefits, it would upset the industry. In order to maintain cost profit ratio balanced, companies would need to pass on this burden to customers and in turn market will witness the price hike up to 4%.
Mr. Bhargava also agreed and stood by governments decision to make safety features like Airbags mandatory in all the cars reducing the extent and the accidents themselves which was brought in notice by the EURONCAP crash tests this year whose results brought a sense of realization among public regarding the safety quotient of the cars in the market.
2014 proved to be a great year for Maruti Suzuki, but the company still eyes to take on a few untouched and underachieved segments by keeping the plan of releasing S-Cross to challenge others in the compact SUV segment and also enter the Light Commercial Vehicle market in 2015.