The News International Team
Maruti Suzuki , India’s largest carmaker, notched up domestic passenger vehicle sales of 99,290 in September, data released by the firm today show, 9.8 percent higher than the 90,399 units sold in the same month last year.
The company’s exports, however, fell 28.2 percent year-on-year to 10,452 units from 14,565 last September, bringing the total monthly sales tally to 1,09,742 units (up 4.6 percent overall).
The company’s sales were driven by sales in what industry body SIAM classifies as the compact segment (Swift, Ritz, Celerio, DZire), which rose 18.1 percent to 43,304 unit. The segment usually accounts for nearly half the carmaker’s sales.
Part of the higher sales in the segment can be attributed to the successful semi-automatic Celerio, which launched in January this year.
Sales for the mini car segment (Alto, Wagon R) fell 13.4 percent to 35,547 units. However, at least some of the fall can be explained by the fact that the company is no longer selling the Estilo and the 800 mini cars that it was selling in September last year.
The recently-launched Ciaz saw sales of 1,375 units (though the car has received over 3,000 bookings, the company recently said). Sales numbers provided by companies are based on dispatches to dealers rather than outright sales to end customers.
The utility vehicle segment, comprising of the Ertiga and Gypsy, grew a whopping 125 percent to 5,980.
Vans (Eeco and Omni) too notched up sales of 11,863 units, 35.3 percent higher than last year.
Over the first half of this financial year (April-September), Maruti Suzuki has domestically sold a total of 5,58,330 units, 14.7 percent higher than in the same period last year.
This is in line with other signs of a rebound in auto sales, consistent with expectations of a general pick-up in economic activity.
Maruti is trying to expand its footprint in the Indian auto market by venturing into areas it has not succeeded or entered previously.
The Ciaz, which is off to a decent start, is the company’s latest attempt to crack the midsize sedan market, which it has failed to in its previous attempts with the Baleno and the SX4.
Likewise, chairman RC Bhargava has said the company is working on launching a compact SUV, which would compete with the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Renault Duster. Its previous SUV, the Grand Vitara, never sold in a big way, thanks in part to the fact that it was imported as a built-unit, which ratcheted up its price in a big way.
Maruti is also looking to enter the light commercial vehicle segment in mid 2015, Bhargava told CNBC-TV18 in a recent interview .
Maruti Suzuki stock price
On October 01, 2014, at 12:20 hrs Maruti Suzuki India was quoting at Rs 2981.00, down Rs 83.35, or 2.72 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 3110.00 and the 52-week low was Rs 1341.80.
The company’s trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 96.45 per share as per the quarter ended June 2014. The stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 30.91. The latest book value of the company is Rs 694.45 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 4.29.