Suzuki’s India sales recover after violence

Kyodo

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the Indian arm of Suzuki Motor Corp., said its domestic sales in September grew 12.7 percent from a year earlier to 88,801 new cars after a sharp 35 percent drop in August affected by worker violence.

Sales have recovered as assembly lines resumed operating in late August at the violence-hit Manesar factory in the northern state of Haryana, while another factory operated at full capacity, Maruti Suzuki said Monday.

Maruti Suzuki said the factory’s production has reached half the level before the rioting and is expected to reach full output later this month.

The company is eyeing raising wages and taking other steps to improve management-labor relations.

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest automaker, said its fiscal 2012 half-year sales through September came to 473,218 units, almost unchanged from a year earlier. Ahead of the fall marketing season, the company is planning to target 1 million units in domestic annual sales for the third consecutive year.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Indian unit, meanwhile, said September sales dropped 5.4 percent to 12,115 new cars, owing largely to slow sales of its strategic Etios compact car series.

New vehicle sales drop

Kyodo

New vehicle sales fell 3.4 percent in September from a year earlier to 446,686 units, the first drop in 12 months, as the government ended a subsidy program for energy-friendly vehicle purchases Sept. 21.

Excluding minivehicles with engines no larger than 660cc, sales decreased 8.1 percent to 288,478 vehicles for the first decline in 13 months, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Monday.

“We are uncertain about how long auto sales will remain at lower levels” after the robust sales under the subsidy system, a JAMA official said.

Minivehicle sales expanded 6.6 percent to 158,208, but the year-to-year rise was far lower than the 22.2 percent increase in August, the Japan Mini Vehicles Association said.

Excluding minivehicles, passenger car sales fell 10.1 percent to 252,186 units. But truck sales rose 8.4 percent to 35,304 and bus sales increased 16.8 percent to 988.