Thanks to the ongoing impasse at its Manesar plant, Maruti's marketshare in the Indian car market has fallen to 41% in the last three months, the lowest for a quarter in a decade, and a 7 percentage point drop over the last year.
With the unrest directly impacting the fortunes of the Swift, Maruti's biggest success in recent times, at a time when demand for its other cars is suffering due to overall low consumer demand in the market, the firm's share has fallen sharply from over 50% last year.
“This is just a temporary blip largely due to the low production of the Swift that has suffered the most due to the labour problem,” said a company spokesperson.
The firm's share, however, has been shrinking much before the current round of unrest crippled its production in Manesar, albeit at a slower pace. In the January-March quarter of 2010, Maruti's share dipped below 50% for the first time ever as new entrants like Ford Figo, Volkswagen Polo and Chevrolet Beat clipped into its pie.The labour problem has only accelerated the fall.
Its share has been below 50% in every month this fiscal, dipping to a low of 39% in July.
“The company does not have any new car launch until next year and that will hamper its progress in the immediate future,” said a senior automotive analyst.
“Newer cars have come in and expanded the market at a rate higher than the growth of the company. Its share may fall further and settle at around 30-35% in the medium term.”
With no end to the prevailing imbroglio in sight, an immediate turnaround looks unlikely.