India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Tuesday reported 4.3% decline in its passenger vehicle in March at 107,890 units from 112,724 units in the same month last year.
Workers clean parked cars at the Maruti Suzuki's stockyard on the outskirts of Jammu. Car sales in India rose by a third in August to a record high as a booming economy pushed more buyers to open their purse strings, but growth is expected to moderate in coming months.
The numbers were in line with the general sluggish trend in the domestic automotive sector.
For the full financial year 2012-13, however, the company's sales rose by 4.4% to 10,51,046 units from 10,06,316 units a year-ago, as the success of its maiden utility vehicle Ertiga helped offset the reverses in its passenger car business.
The company said though the March figures painted a gory end to one of the most sluggish financial years for the automotive industry in recent times, there are signs of improvement.
"On a year-on-year comparison, yes we are down this March, but on a sequential basis this is the highest sales in the last 12 months,” said Mayank Pareek, chief operating officer (marketing and sales), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
“Perhaps the market has bottomed out and we might see little bit of recovery around second quarter this fiscal.”
Sales of the company’s mini segment cars, including the M800, A-Star, Alto and WagonR, fell by 14.73% to 45,047 units from 52,826 units in March 2012.
The compact segment too witnessed a 7.33% decline in sales to 25,868 units from 27,913 units sold in the same month in the year-ago period.
Sales of MSI’s DZiRE model increased by 22.05% to 20,078 units while sales of utility vehicles went up by over four-fold to 6,488 units from 1,530 units a year ago.