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Maruti Suzuki Sales Plunge to 7-Year Low

Maruti Suzuki India ltd., the country’s largest carmaker, says its sales in April plummeted 17% to 143,200 units, led by a 20% drop to 131,400 domestic deliveries.
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Maruti Suzuki India ltd., the country’s largest carmaker, says its sales in April plummeted 17% to 143,200 units, led by a 20% drop to 131,400 domestic deliveries.

Maruti’s results reflect a sharp slowdown in growth for India’s overall passenger vehicle market. Volume in the fiscal year ended March 31 expanded only 3% to 3.38 million units—half the pace Maruti expected, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

Maruti wasn’t alone in feeling the pinch. The market’s second-largest carmaker, Hyundai Motor Co., saw its domestic sales last month shrink more than 10% to 42,000 cars. Deliveries also fell for Mahindra & Mahindra (-9% to 43,700 units) and Tata Motors (-20% to 42,600).

SIAM predicts the market will expand by 3%-5% this year. But analysts are increasingly skeptical. India’s economy has been slowing since last July because of rising fuel prices, tight credit and dropping farm incomes. India’s gross domestic product expanded at its slowest rate in five quarters in October-December.

Uncertainty about the outcome of India’s protracted federal election season, which began in April and won’t end until May 23, also has damped car sales.

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