Maruti Suzuki’s market share erodes 10 percent, reasons why sales are falling

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest automaker by volume is slowly losing the market share it had built over the years. Starting operations in 1983, Maruti Suzuki became India’s favourite carmaker, capitalizing the growing affinity of Indians towards the value-for-money budget cars. With 8 hatchbacks on offer, Maruti Suzuki is the single largest maker of highest selling body-type in the country. Despite all these factors, Maruti Suzuki is not doing good when it comes to sales in the recent months.

In April 2022, Maruti’s sales fell over 10 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Total sales of the brand stood at 121,995 units as compared to 135,879 units sold during the same period of last year. While Maruti is still the largest carmaker, the market share shrank to only 41.6 percent. Data shows that Maruti Suzuki, that once enjoyed a market share more than 50 percent, has failed to touch the sales mark ever since pandemic has hit the market. We decode few reasons why Maruti Suzuki is losing the ground and what’s in the pipeline for the automaker-

Also read: Maruti Suzuki offering discounts up to Rs 47,000 on Alto, WagonR and more

Limited product launches

Maruti Suzuki was not able to launch much products ever since pandemic had hit the Indian market apart from the all-new Maruti Suzuki Celerio that was launched as the petrol car with most fuel efficiency in India. However, in the past few months, Maruti Suzuki has launched the new Baleno, Ertiga and XL6, but again, not a new product. All either facelifts or Model Year change. On the flipside, Maruti’s competitors like Tata and Kia are on a launch spree, launching all-new products, keeping the buzz alive among the buyers. 

No new SUV

India has slowly become an SUV frenzy nation and numbers speak volumes about how SUVs have been gaining traction over the years. No wonder, multiple segments have erupted in the last five years – ranging from compact SUVs to mid-size and even sub-compact SUVs. Maruti, on the other hand, has failed to offer any new product in this segment. While the Vitara Brezza still remains one of the favourites among the buyers, it’s slowly losing its charm as multiple choices are now available. More than that, Maruti Suzuki doesn’t have any product in the mid-size or sub-compact category.

Lack of technology

Indian market, once used to be a driven by customers seeking high mileage and low cost vehicles. However, new-age buyers are now looking for other factors that are not limited to mileage and pricing and primary among those are design, safety and features. Maruti Suzuki failed to capitalize on the new trend and none of its cars used to get features like connected technology, sunroof, air filters, premium sound systems and other technologies of sorts. It’s recent launches, though, gets HUD, Suzuki Connect among other new-age car tech, and the sales is evident. The new Ertiga is now second best selling car in India (as per April sales).

Chip shortage

A semiconductor is a vital component in all forms of electronic gadgets right from mobiles to laptops and what not! A semiconductor is what separates a mechanical device from an electronic device. While cars, at the very core, are mechanical devices, the new-age vehicles are very advanced and technologically superior to any electronic machine. Case in point, Tesla’s newly developed in-house chip is more powerful than best of the supercomputers and will be used for self-driving Tesla cars. Even the most basic cars are now dependent on these chips that perform multiple functions. However, the recent global chip shortage has effected Maruti Suzuki as well. The company is finding it hard to deliver products on time and says that the production will be delayed in coming months as well. 

Rising fuel prices, No diesel engine option

Another major reason that has not only impacted Maruti Suzuki but automakers across the country is the rising fuel prices. With petrol touching Rs 110 and diesel Rs 100 per litre, buyers are shying away from buying a new car, resulting in overall downfall in the Indian auto market. However, Maruti Suzuki has additionally absorbed the fuel price impact due to non-availibility of diesel cars. Maruti discontinued diesel cars in India, which included the famed 1.3-litre DDiS unit known for its performance and mileage. At one time, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz with DDiS engine and SHVS technology was the most fuel-efficient car in India rated at 28.09 kmpl mileage. 

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Sagar Biswas

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