Promising prospects: Maruti Suzuki hopeful yet guarded about sales growth

Healthy off-take in the rural segment along with pent-up demand and improvements in supply chain management are some of the trends that will lead to a sustained future sales upswing, a senior official with automobile major Maruti Suzuki told IANS.

Already, the company has displayed its strength when July domestic sales expanded over last year’s base.

The auto major had posted total sales of 1,08,064 units in July 2020.

Resultantly, the figure showed a growth of 88.2 per cent over June 2020 and a fall of 1.1 per cent over July 2019.

Moreover, domestic sales touched the 1,00,000-mark showing a growth of 1.8 per cent when compared to July last year’s domestic sales.

However, speaking to IANS, Maruti Suzuki India’s Executive Director for Marketing and Sales Shashank Srivastava displayed a guarded optimism over projections even to the extent that he advised caution.

“Last year’s base was very low plus we have had supply side improvements. These seem to have worked for us,” Srivastava said.

“I am relieved due to the bounce back, also rural side too bounced back quite strongly, it’s pretty positive, yet a long way to go.”

He acknowledged the role played by the pent-up demand as well as the slow but steady rise in the economic activity in helping the company to achieve healthy sales in July.

“For the long run everything depends upon how the economy performs. In the short run, I am quite relieved for the bounce back,” he said.

“The reason for this guarded optimism about future projections is due to the uncertainty over which way will buyers’ sentiments move. There is a vaccine upside and a second wave downside. This is the reason for the guarded optimism.”

According to Srivastava, contingent on the duration of current trends both sequential and YoY sales growth can be achieved.

“Current trends do indicate positive momentum, but with a caveat that everything depends upon how the economy performs. As of now we are cautiously optimistic rather than purely optimistic,” he explained.

Besides, Srivastava said that in the long term the upside to India’s economy remains intact especially for the auto industry.

Even in its Annual Integrated Report for the financial year 2019-20, the company had pointed out that India’s long-term economic prospects are promising which augur well for the automobile business.

It cited the economy’s resilience during the financial crisis and predicted that revival might be faster in India this time as well.

On the new S-Cross, he said that petrol powered SUV has received positive response.

“The mid-SUV segment is growing. We found that petrol fuelled offering is gaining popularity in this category and this need is fulfilled by the S-Cross. We have received a positive response.”

He revealed that over 2,500 bookings have been received till now.

Earlier this month, automobile major had launched the all new S-Cross Petrol with a starting price of Rs 8.39 lakh.

As per the company, the SUV has been engineered with a ‘1.5 Litre K series B S6’ petrol engine.