The car maker crossed the 1.5 million units mark for the first time since it started operations over three decades ago.
Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car maker, secured a market share of 50 percent in the passenger vehicles segment as its utility vehicles performed better than their peers in the market, The Economic Times reported.
The automobiles major sold 1.65 million units in FY18, an increase of 14 percent from its sales in FY17, thereby crossing the 1.5 million mark for the first time since it started operations over three decades ago.
The company's market share increased by 5 percentage points in the passenger cars segment, reaching a new peak of 57 percent. Its share in the vans segment is a staggering 81 percent.
According to Chairman RC Bhargava, who has been at the company since 1981, Maruti Suzuki's decision to invest in diesel technology at a time when the fuel was cheaper than than petrol, as well as in new models and a beefed-up sales network, are the factors responsible for its success today.
"The 39 percent market share in FY13 was not normal at the time when the gap between petrol and diesel prices widened to around Rs 32 per litre," Bhargava told the financial daily.
Maruti Suzuki did not have enough diesel cars in its portfolio when the market was moving from petrol cars to diesel ones, the chairman said, adding that the automaker then augmented its capacity to manufacture diesel-powered vehicles.
"The market has normalised. Of course, we have added a lot of new models and have strengthened the distribution network. Nexa has taken off well; Suzuki investing in Gujarat has freed up resources. These decisions were initially met with hesitation, but we understand the market well and it has paid off,” Bhargava was quoted as saying.
The company bested longstanding market leader Mahindra & Mahindra in the utility vehicles (UV) segment for the first time in FY18, with a lead of 25,000 units in terms of sales, and a 27 percent market share.
Having been India’s leader in passenger cars and vans for some time now, the company believes that its networking with customers, and listening to their issues and solving them is the key to its growing success and market penetration.
"The company has launched models like Baleno, Ignis, S-cross and Vitara Brezza in the past few years in new segments, and also introduced new technologies and platforms, and expanded the sales network. The outcome of these was reflected in the sales performance, with volume growing 29.6 percent in utility vehicles and 28 percent in compact cars, which he said were the best ever for the company," Senior Executive Director for Marketing and Sales, RS Kalsi, told ET.Baleno and Brezza are continually driving volumes higher and Maruti Suzuki also has the launch of the new Ertiga lined up for this year. One of the company’s strengths, along with its strong distribution network, is its brand loyalty, analysts at Elara Capital told the paper.