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INDIA: Maruti Suzuki sales dip as credit squeezed

By just-auto.com editorial team | 3 November 2008

Maruti Suzuki passenger car sales declined 8.3% year on year in October to 58,515 units.

The company's A1 segment sales of the M800 were down 26.1%, its C segment Omni and Versa volume fell 31.6% to 6,362, A2 (Alto, Wagon-R, Zen, Swift) sales were down 7.7% to 43,434 but the A3 segment contenders - SX4, Swift Dzire (sedan) and Esteem were up 29.6% to 5,412 units.

Fiscal year to date sales were, however, up though by just 1.9% to 406,570.

Maruti, which is readying a redesigned Alto and a Nissan variant for 2009 launch, boosted October exports 4% to 5,363. Fiscal year to date shipments rose 21.1% to 35,599.

Indian banks have recently raised rates to a six-year high and tightened lending criteria, forcing some potential buyers, in this market where a majority of new cars are bought with credit, to defer purchases.