Maruti Suzuki hopes domestic sales will pick up next fiscal

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on March 22, 2013

R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India.

Expects to sell more diesel cars, may cut petrol models production

Maruti Suzuki India on Friday said the company expects its domestic sales to grow by 5-7 per cent in the next financial year (2013-14), despite a slow down in the market.

R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, told reporters here that the coming financial year will be no different from the current year as negative factors like fuel price hike have to be set off by economic growth. “Do not mind higher fuel prices so long as we have clear policies,” he said.

“Looking at the current market scenario, market is difficult, and we may end this year with around 5.5 per cent growth,” Bhargava said, adding that this up and down cycle has been there since last 30 years. He expressed confidence that the market will grow in the next two years.

Bhargava said though Maruti’s petrol car sales have been falling, the company expects to sell more diesel cars next year. It sold around four lakh units of diesel cars this year and is hopeful to sell 4.65 lakh units next year.

The company's petrol car sales have been falling since December. From a drop of 12 per cent in December to 15 per cent and 21 per cent in January and February, respectively.

He also said depending on the market, the company may further cut production of its petrol cars manufactured in the Gurgaon plant. It recently shut its plant twice due to inventory pile-up.

On the company’s perspective on sports utility vehicles (SUV) and multi-purpose vehicles, where it faces a challenge from many competitors, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Shinzo Nakanishi said MSIL has to work out a plan to gain market share.

“The SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles segment has been growing very fast in India. We need to have a stronger presence. Having just the Ertiga is not enough,” he said.

He said there is another challenge of reducing the level of import by its vendors (components) to bring down the overall cost, which is still slow. “We have to discuss with them how to increase the overall levels of localisation,” he said.

Nakanishi, who will retire on April 1, said he would help the new MD and CEO, Kenichi Ayukawa, at least till end of this calendar year.

Published on March 22, 2013
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