Maruti Suzuki retail volume crosses million mark in 2012

Maruti Suzuki's retail volumes crossed one million unit mark for the first time in 2012, climbing 5.9% in the year to 1.04 million units, as compared with 0.98 million units in 2011, according to a statement by Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corporation on its website.

Wholesales volume growth in the year was slightly higher at 6.6% to 1.06 million units.

The domestic car market leader's sales rose in a year that was considered tough for the auto industry. While consumer demand remained sluggish because of rising fuel prices, high interest costs and macro-economic uncertainties arising out of slowing GDP growth, Maruti's own production was severely hampered for over three months following the July 18 violence at its Manesar factory.

"Although there had been mob violence at Maruti Suzuki in July 2012, sales of diesel engine vehicles such as the Swift DZire rose. The wholesales increased year-on-year by 6.6%, as well as the retail sales by 5.9%," the Suzuki statement said.

Smaller cars 800, Alto, A-Star and Wagon R models, recorded 4.48 lakh retail sales in the year, while compact cars like the Swift Zen Estilo and Ritz sold 2.56 lakh units. Meanwhile, the Dzire sold 1.54 lakh units, the SX4 10,164 units and the Kizashi 353 units. Utility vehicle sales stood at 56,554 units boosted by strong demand for the new Ertiga MPV.

In comparison, South Korean rival Hyundai Motor India Ltd's sales (wholesales) in 2012 were up 4.1% to 6.41 lakh units. Hyundai, for which India is a small car manufacturing hub, exported 39% of this output.

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