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Maruti Suzuki vs Tata Motors: New customer choices could lead to change of guard

Maruti Suzuki, the largest-selling car maker in the country for three consecutive decades, appears to be falling behind on the times as Tata Motors, another homegrown brand, emerges as a new Titan of mass to mid-range mobility by addressing passenger preferences

October 31, 2021 / 09:54 AM IST

Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, appears to be in a slump. The brand, which continues to see its cars feature in the top 10 best seller list every month, has witnessed month-on-month decline in sales, precipitated by the second Covid wave and the superconductor chip shortage, both events having briefly halted production.

In September, sales of Maruti declined 46.16 percent with 54.9 percent fall in domestic sales as several of its models, including best-sellers such as the Swift, Celerio, Baleno and Dzire, witnessed a 75 percent drop in sales from a year ago. Maruti isn’t alone in reporting a decline. Hyundai India, the second largest carmaker in India, also reported a drop in domestic sales by 23.6 percent compared with the same sales quarter last year.

Standing in direct contrast is Tata Motors, which although doesn't deal with the same volumes as Maruti Suzuki, is witnessing a resurgence in popularity garnered on the back of bold design work, emphasis on safety and a head start in the EV game. In the first quarter of 2022, Tata Motors upped its total revenue by 107.6% year-on-year.

Tata also managed to see tremendous growth in the EV space, thanks to the Nexon EV, which surpassed 1,000 units in sales in a single month (August) for the first time. In September 2021 alone, Tata recorded a 26% growth in domestic sales at 55,988 units. Of course, Maruti Suzuki still manages to outsell brands such as Tata Motors, MG, Nissan by a considerable margin, month-on-month and so the scales aren’t exactly comparable. But they appear to be getting there. In what appeared to be its leanest September in recent times, this year Maruti Suzuki sold 86,380 units while Tata Motors sold 55,988 units.