NEW DELHI -- India's biggest carmaker, Maruti Udyog Ltd, a unit of Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp, said on Monday its May sales leapt 46 percent year-on year on the back of a surge in demand for its cheapest and best-selling model.
The automaker, whose initial public offering of shares will open on June 12, said in a statement it had total sales, including exports, of 39,178 vehicles in May. Exports jumped 47 percent from a year ago to 2,664 vehicles.
Maruti's sales grew 19.9 percent in March and a robust 45.8 percent in April.
Domestic sales of its mini Maruti 800, India's top selling car, jumped 80 percent in the month to 16,907 units helped by a tax cut three months ago.
The Indian budget in February cut excise duty or production tax on cars and utility vehicles to 24 percent from 32 percent, leading Maruti and other manufacturers to reduce prices by more than five percent.
The price cuts boosted industry sales by 15.2 percent in March and 28 percent in April.
In the compact car segment, Maruti said it sold 5,179 units of the Wagon R, 3,317 Altos and 4,384 Zens. It also sold 284 units of the Versa multi-purpose vehicle and 172 units of its Baleno sedan.
The automaker, held 45.54 percent by the Indian government, had a dominating 50.8 percent share of India's domestic new car market in the past year to March owing to its dominance of the small car segment.
Japan's Suzuki holds 54.2 percent of Maruti, which makes and sells 11 cars and utility vehicles in India.
The government will unload 25 percent of the carmaker's stake, or 72.2433 million shares of five rupees each to the public and institutions through a fully book-built issue later this month. The float has a floor price of 115 rupees.
In the past year to March, Maruti sold 362,426 vehicles, up 2.9 percent from the previous year. Domestic vehicle sales fell nearly three percent while exports nearly tripled to 32,250.