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Ertiga, Swift, Ritz drive Maruti December sales up six per cent

However, sale of mini-segment cars such as Maruti 800, Wagon R, Alto and others was lower by 15%

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Strong demand for mid-range vehicles such as the Swift and the Dzire helped India’s largest passenger car maker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, post six per cent rise in December sales, even as most auto makers saw their volumes dwindle in the month.

Maruti Suzuki sold 82,073 units last month against 77,475 units in December 2011, the car maker said today. However, sales at the entry-level segment continued to sputter for the car maker due to weak demand for petrol-powered cars.

While the sales of mini-segment cars, including M800, A-Star, and WagonR, declined 15.02 per cent to 32,797 units during the month from 38,593 units a year ago, volumes went up 8.9 per cent in the compact segment (Swift, Ritz and Estilo) to 22,482 units. Sales of the Swift Dzire sedan, which offers both diesel and petrol variants, saw 42.3 per cent rise in sales at 13,076 units, compared with 9,189 units a year earlier, the company said.

In the utility vehicle category, where the company had introduced war horse Ertiga in April last year, volumes grew manifold to 5,447 units against the paltry 238 units of the Gypsy and Grand Vitara the company had sold in December 2011.(MOSTLY HOT CAKES)

Up the premium ladder, volume growth registered a dip. Mid-sized sedan SX4’s sales dipped 60.97 per cent to 329 units last month from 843 units in December 2011. Luxury sedan Kizashi also witnessed a drop of 11.76 per cent in sales at 45 units against 51 units last year.

The company is currently working on introducing a refurbished version of SX4 to spruce up consumer interest in the model. It has stopped imports of Kizashi and has said the car will be shipped into the country only upon prior orders.

Sales of Omni and Eeco, however, dipped marginally to 7,897 units from 7,908 units in December 2011. The auto maker’s exports, however, went down 10.99 per cent to 13,072 units last month from 14,686 units in the year-ago period. This has dragged down the overall numbers.

Overall volumes (domestic and exports) for Maruti Suzuki increased 3.24 per cent to 95,145 units in December. The company had sold 92,161 units in the corresponding month previous year.

Last week, four major auto companies — Hyundai Motor India Ltd, Tata Motors, General Motors India and Toyota Kirloskar Motor–had reported double-digit dip in sales numbers for December.

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