Maruti Suzuki India Ltd is aiming at 45 per cent market share and a sales volume of 1.8 million cars each year by 2015-16, which is a realistic target, according to Chief Operating Officer S.Y Siddiqui.
Siddiqui, who earlier delivered a lecture at Gitam University here on Wednesday, said in an interview the present market share was 40 per cent. “We have a strong base in the country and in spite of stiff competition from other players we are confident that our share will not slump below 40 per cent. It is really good, considering that even in the developed world the dominant player’s market share does not exceed 30 per cent,” he said.
He said the company was setting up a new manufacturing unit in Mehsana district of Gujarat with an annual capacity of 2,50,000 cars, land acquisition for which had been completed. The work may begin sometime in 2013. The company was also setting up five stockyards — one each at Bangalore, Nagpur, Ranchi and Siliguri. The site for the fifth one had not yet been chosen. He said he would suggest to the top management the name of Visakhapatnam as it had two ports and the other infrastructure. "We will seriously consider the matter," he added.
He said the response to the new Alto model was good and so far 48,000 cars had been booked and 14,000 delivered. “We may clear the backlog in two or three months. But then the demand is so good every minute there is an order for a new car,” he said.
In response to a question on labour unrest in the company, he said the issue had been settled and production at the Manesar unit had reached normal levels. A new wage settlement had been reached and “there is no problem now.”
Referring to the market scenario in general, he said the Government would have to consider diesel pricing. “There is too much cross-subsidy right now. Petrol prices have touched a new high and that has adversely affected the petrol car segment. There is high demand for diesel cars as a result. There is a certain imbalance there,” he said.
Interest rates in the country were pretty high and they would have to be brought down, he added.