In a clear sign of a slowdown in car sales, the country’s top three carmakers — Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors — witnessed a drop in combined sales of 4.3 per cent in June 2011. During the month, the three companies together sold 1.22 lakh units compared with 1.27 lakh units sold in June last year. The three players contribute to over 60 per cent of the total cars sold in the country.
Maruti Suzuki’s June sales were badly hit due to a labour strike at its manufacturing facility at Manesar, which disrupted production for almost 11 days. According to company estimates, total production loss stood at 12,400 units amounting to Rs 420 crore.As a result, Maruti’s domestic sales in June fell 3.8 per cent to 70,020 units compared with 72,812 units in the previous year. The strike also hit the production of marquee brands such as SX4 and DZire, which saw sales nosedive 60.4 per cent to 3,199 units. Sales of the old warhorse Maruti 800 fell 12.8 per cent to 1,823 units in the month. However, the company’s bread and butter A2 segment, comprising Alto, Wagon-R, Estilo, Swift and Ritz, continued its dominance in the market. In June the segment grew 2.3 per cent at 52,599 units.