Blog: Glenn BrooksTata and Hyundai to benefit from Maruti's woes?

Glenn Brooks | 15 June 2011

With production at Maruti Suzuki's Manesar complex stopped for almost two weeks now, the losses are beginning to hurt the company. Simon my colleague has been doggedly pursuing Maruti to let it put its side of the situation on the record, so do look at his news report from earlier today as it's an engaging read.

Meanwhile, we might soon be in unfamiliar territory: Maruti controls the Indian market in the same way that Toyota dominates vehicle sales in Japan, with the number two and three players a long way behind. But what happens if this strike goes on into July, or worse, the huge Gurgaon plant is infected by industrial action?

Manesar mostly builds newer models such as the SX4 and A-Star as well as the Nissan Pixo which Maruti ships to Europe, but Gurgaon is the build location for the cheaper and older cars that sell in such enormous numbers in the Indian market.

Maruti is safe now, firmly at the top of the charts in its home market with the Alto alone selling up a storm last month - 25,393 sales and 155,053 for the year to date. This small car is so much of the reason why Maruti Suzuki remains far and away India's best selling car brand.

I checked the numbers from the industry body SIAM, which lists Maruti's passenger vehicle sales for May as 76,874 (as well as another 10,337 cars that were exported). Next comes Hyundai with 31,001 (plus 16,643 exported) followed by Tata Motors with 16,280 (fascinating to see that only 281 cars were sent abroad last month).

Overall, Tata's figures will be far higher thanks to its domination of the LCV and CV markets. But for cars, and despite the ongoing revival of the once-troubled Nano, Tata Motors remains a long way behind Hyundai and nowhere near Maruti.

So what can we summise? In short, and despite its current troubles, Maruti Suzuki remains unthreatened as the big cheese of the Indian market.


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