Maruti Compact Model Leads SUV Sales in India as Demand Climbs

1473387620_vitara brezza

The Vitara Brezza.

Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg
  • Industrywide passenger vehicle sales rose 17% in August
  • Renault posts eightfold surge in deliveries last month

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.’s all-new compact sport utility vehicle’s sales helped fuel growth in Indian auto sales in August, extending the industry’s streak of gains to 14th consecutive months.

Demand for the Vitara Brezza SUV paced a 12 percent increase in Maruti deliveries last month, while Renault SA posted an eightfold jump on its Kwid minicar. Industrywide passenger vehicle sales rose 17 percent to 258,722 units in August, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said Thursday in New Delhi.

SUVs continue to lead gains, with at least four new models introduced in the compact segment since July last year. A good monsoon across most of India, critical for farm incomes and rural demand, also helped the auto industry, according to Pravin Shah, president and chief executive of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.’s automotive division.

Buying sentiment has improved after the country’s top court last month lifted a ban on large diesel vehicles in the capital, Shah said. Sales of SUVs surged 47 percent to 65,745 units in August, with the compact models accounting for 67 percent of the deliveries.

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