Year 2005-06 was distinct for Maruti in many ways. The company further consolidated its position as the car market leader.
It sold a record 522664 passenger cars in the domestic market during the year, the highest since inception.
In all, the company sold 561822 units. This included export of 34784 units.
In March 2006, the company sold 61141 vehicles in the domestic market, the highest in a month so far.
In all, the company sold 63196 units in March 2006, including export of 2055 units.
March 2006 saw Maruti register the highest ever monthly sales of Alto (17908 units), of WagonR (10843 units) and of Swift (6651 units).
During the year, the Alto continued to be Indiaís highest selling model. Its sale grew by 25.7%. This further strengthened Marutiís position in the competitive A2 segment. Sales in this segment grew 23.5%.
In the A3 segment, Baleno recorded an impressive 29.6% growth. The combined sales of Baleno and Esteem in the A3 segment grew 7.8% during 2005-06.
The Swift, launched during the year, took the market by storm and won millions of hearts. It swept all the Car of the Year awards in the country. Besides India, Swift was declared Car of the Year in four countries across continents.
The company has sold 53171 Swift cars since its launch in end-May 2005
In 2005-06, road safety initiatives and corporate social activities saw a renewed thrust. Two new Maruti Driving Schools were started, one each in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. These are part of the company?s plan to set up 15 new Maruti Driving Schools across the country. The three pilot schools set up in 2004-05 have received an enthusiastic response.
Maruti is also working on setting up a second Institute of Driving Training and Research (IDTR) in Delhi. The institute will commence driving training over the next few months
The company also resolved to work for upgrading technical training standards, to bring them at par with global standards. Together with its vendors, Maruti has decided to adopt four Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Haryana. The company will work with these institutions to identify new trades as per requirements of industry.
Motorisation and market expansion
In its effort to expand the car market, the company identified new segments and reached out to them with special car buying schemes and attractive finance options.
After the success of the teachers? scheme, through which over 10,000 teachers bought cars, the company launched a scheme for railway employees. This encouraged new profiles of customers, including gardeners, ward boys, drivers and clerks, to purchase Maruti cars. Simultaneously, the company targeted employees of public sector enterprises. The Wheels of India offer, exclusively for state and central government employees, has also received a resounding response.
The company restructured its marketing and sales functions so that local needs of customers in different markets are understood and served better. Field strength was enhanced as part of the effort to increase market penetration.
Maruti was rated among the top three corporates in the prestigious Corporate Image Monitor (CIM) Study 2005 conducted by ACNielsen ORG-MARG
Maruti also received the coveted METI Award instituted by the Government of Japan. Maruti was one among six companies, and one of only two companies outside Japan, chosen for the award.
The company continued to receive accolades in customer satisfaction surveys. Maruti was rated first in JD Power?s Customer Satisfaction Survey for a record sixth year in a row.
In the JD Power Initial Quality Study, Esteem and Alto were rated as the best in their respective segments. The JD Power APEAL Study rated WagonR and Esteem as the best cars in their respective segments.
In the JD Power Sales Satisfaction Study, customers voted Maruti as the number one car manufacturer for the second consecutive year.
The TNS Total Customer Satisfaction Study declared Maruti 800, WagonR and the Swift on top in their segments.
The increased customer base and sales were complemented by a significant increase in dealership strength.
The sales network saw addition of 50 new outlets across 31 cities. With these, the network reached 375 sales outlets in 228 cities. The pre-owned car business, Maruti True Value expanded to 187 outlets.
The service network grew to 2096 service stations that cover 1092 cities.
During the year, Maruti announced its plan to launch five new models in five years
The success of Swift showcased Maruti?s growing R&D capabilities.
Indian engineers were associated in the design and development of the Swift right from the start, collaborating closely with Suzuki engineers in Japan.
Besides, the company launched a new look Alto and an upgraded Baleno during the year.
The year was significant also for the manufacture of Maruti?s 5 millionth vehicle.
The company also laid the foundation for its new facilities. The new car plant and the diesel engine facility will commence operations during 2006-07.