Maruti hits key milestone of 25 million domestic sales. A complete timeline

  • Maruti Suzuki began India operations back in 1983 with the launch of Maruti 800. At present, the company offers 17 models.
File photo: The last Maruti 800 rolling off the line from Maruti factory in Gurgaon. (HT Photo)
File photo: The last Maruti 800 rolling off the line from Maruti factory in Gurgaon.

Maruti Suzuki announced on Monday that it had hit a cumulative domestic sales figure of 25 million or 2.5 crore units in the Indian market on January 9. This is by far the highest number of vehicles sold by any car manufacturer in the country, by India's largest car maker which began operations here back in 1983.

Maruti Suzuki, a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation, has run a marathon race since it first rolled out a Maruti 800 unit in the country in December of 1983. This was a time when penetration of personal cars among Indians at large was microscopic. The evolution of the Indian car industry and the changing preferences and purchasing powers of the Indian audience over more than three decades has been rather synonymous with the story of Maruti Suzuki.

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Maruti Suzuki hit five million in cumulative domestic sales in 2006 and by then, had begun expanding its product portfolio with models like WagonR, Swift and Alto. By August of 2010, the company also became one of the first to offer CNG technology which remains a key focus area till date. The rising popularity of CNG kits, coupled with the preference for small and affordable options, helped the company hit 10 million in domestic cumulative sales by February of 2012. This figure doubled by July of 2019.

At present, Maruti Suzuki remains the No. 1 player in the Indian car segment and offers 17 models. While small cars remain the backbone of the company, it is also focusing on SUV body type like never before, mainly because it admits it has ceded space in this body type through lack of options. Some of the recent launches and unveils include Grand Vitara - Maruti's first strong-hybrid SUV model, the updated Brezza, five-door Jimny and the Baleno-based Fronx SUV.

But through its journey, Maruti Suzuki has also had to face off against an ever-growing list of rivals in a market that is now the third largest in the world, behind China and the US. While Hyundai has held on to its No. 2 position and is also the largest car exporter from here, other mass-market players like Tata Motors and Mahindra have been making some big moves. And in a world where EVs are gradually taking over, many manufacturers are looking at cashing in. Maruti Suzuki though plays for scale and is in no rush to embrace battery power just yet. At Auto Expo 2023, the company showcased its eVX concept electric car with a launch planned in 2025.

First Published Date: 30 Jan 2023, 18:44 PM IST

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