In a report card that read negative across all segments in terms of domestic sales for Maruti Suzuki India during June 2016, the only reprieve came through the good showing of the utility vehicle segment that was up 75.5 percent with sales of 9,708 units over a low base in June 2015 (5,531).
The Vitara Brezza compact SUV, launched this March, has proved hugely successful and has sold 20,588 units until May 2016, helping beef up UV volumes for Maruti. In June, the Vitara Brezza sold around 6,600 units.
After averaging a waiting period of 7 months with the top-end variants extending up to 9 months, production of the Vitara Brezza at the Gurgaon plant is being scaled up to 10,000 units monthly from mid-July from the earlier 8,000 units, according to a company spokesperson.
Baleno production under pressure The Baleno is the other hot-selling Maruti. The premium hatchback, sold through the Nexa channel, has crossed sales of 71,200 units by end-June and is averaging an 8-month booking. In June 2016, it sold 6,900 units, a tad lower than the 9,000-odd units it was selling monthly since its rollout in October.
The company had ramped up production of the Baleno at its Manesar plant in April 2016 to about 12,000 units a month to meet rising demand for the model which is also being exported to parent Suzuki Motor Corp in Japan and to Europe. Once the new Gujarat plant goes into production from January-February 2017, the pressure on Baleno production will be eased.
Clearly, Maruti Suzuki India’s capacity constraints are costing it dear. The company reported negative growth of 10.2 percent in June with domestic sales of 92,133 units but with the ramp up of Vitara Brezza production, it expects to tide over the rough patch.
Stoppage of work at both its Manesar and Gurgaon plants due to a fire at key vendor Subros’ factory followed by a week-long closure for annual maintenance had affected production schedules at Maruti last month.