Maruti Suzuki steadily losing grip on the Indian Market?

06/10/2011 - 06:33 | ,   | Kaustubh Shinde

There was a time in the history of the Indian automotive scene when ‘Maruti’ was a by word for a car. If you wanted a family car, you would buy the 800. If you wanted to flaunt your new riches, you bought an Esteem. If you had a big family, you would buy two Esteems. Those were the days when the international manufacturers did not give a damn about the Indian automotive scene.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Record of RecordsHowever, things change and so did the Indian automotive scene. People started earning a lot and more importantly spending a lot. Their disposable income grew. International automotive brands, right from commuter brands to super luxurious ones, started to take the Indian automotive scene seriously. Many manufacturers from US, Germany to Japan invaded the Indian market and started eating up into Maruti Suzuki’s market share.

The company, famously known to control more than 60% of the passenger car market started bleeding its market share to the competition. Last month saw Maruti Suzuki’s market share dropped to its all time low of 40.3 percent. Within a year, Maruti Suzuki lost almost 4 percent of the market to its competitors. If you want to compare it on a much broader time scale, Maruti Suzuki had a 55.5 percent market share in 2000. This means Maruti Suzuki lost a startling 15.2% of the pie within a decade.

The recent fall in the market share can be partly attributed to the Manesar labor strike which forced Maruti to stop production for over 33 days.

However this shift of preference is not temporary; it fundamental. At the same time, new entrants like Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors are consistently ramping up their market share. With even more manufacturers such as Peugeot Citroen and Proton planning an India debut, the question is - is the Empire under threat?

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