2013 will also be difficult, says Maruti Suzuki

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

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki expects next year too to be a difficult one. There is still uncertainty in the market with both petrol and diesel cars hard to sell, according to R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

“The next year will also be difficult for the industry, which is expected to show single digit growth,” he told presspersons here.

He added that last year was not good either. Growth this year would be around six per cent, according to him.

FOCUS ONLY ON SMALL CARS SEGMENT

Bhargava said the company would never manufacture premium cars in India and would focus only on small cars in the coming years.

“We will never go to the premium segment. Neither Maruti nor Suzuki (Corporation) will manufacture such cars. Small cars will remain the largest segment in India and our focus is to be a first-class player in this segment as that is our bread and butter,” he added.

Maruti Suzuki sells the Kizashi sedan in the premium segment. On being asked why, he said it was just to show customers that Suzuki can “build something like that”. This car is imported as a completely built unit. According to the company, in India it sold 71 units of Kizashi in November compared with 162 units in the same month previous year. In overall sales, MSIL sold 1,03,200 vehicles in November, up by 12.5 per cent from 91,772 vehicles in November last year.

The company’s mid-size car SX4 sales numbers have also come down to 692 units during November compared with 1,433 units in the same month last year.

Therefore, the company said it will launch a refurbished version of the model in near future.

“There is a difficulty to increase the sales for the SX4. Minor change is required as otherwise sales would not go up,” said Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, MSIL.

On the new plant in Gujarat, the company said it is ‘on track’ and would start production from 2015-16. MSIL, earlier this year, had announced to invest Rs 4,000 crore for the new facility

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