New Delhi :Country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India will have a “high number of new model launches” in this fiscal, including a compact sport utility vehicle, as it looks to consolidate its leadership position.
The company, which will have a new manufacturing plant in Gujarat where its parent Suzuki Motor Corp will invest, said Centre alone cannot realise the dream of the country becoming a global manufacturing hub and states would have to play an important role.
“2015-16 will see a high number of new model launches. Suzuki Japan and our engineers here have been jointly working on new model development, and the results are before all to see,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava said in his address to shareholders in the company’s Annual Report for 2014-15.
The company has already launched its premium crossover model S-Cross this week, while a new premium compact car is also around this festive season.
“Sometime in the future, we will launch a Compact SUV which will raise our presence in the UV segment by a quantum leap,” MSI Managing Director and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said.
Although the details of the compact SUV hasn’t been shared, the company said: “Soon, we will also introduce the Compact SUV, the concept of which was presented as XA-Alpha. This will help us cater to an emerging class of customers who prefer SUV appeal while staying compact.”
Bhargava said, in 2014-15, after three years of stagnation, the company “grew 11.1 per cent (in sales), even though the rest of the passenger vehicle industry actually declined 1.3 per cent”.
“Our market share, at the end of the financial year was 45 per cent and we have so far further improved this to 46.8 per cent. This has been achieved due to successful new model launches, and the efforts by all our employees in production, sales and service, supply chain, engineering, quality and other functions,” he added.
For 2014-15 fiscal, the company had posted its highest ever annual sales at 12,92,415 units, up 11.9 per cent, from 11,55,041 units in 2013-14. The previous high was in 2010-11, when the company had sold 12,71,005 units.
The company’s domestic sales during the last fiscal stood at 11,70,702 units, up 11.1 per cent, from 10,53,689 units in 2013-14 fiscal.
On the Make in India campaign, Bhargava said: “The task of making India a globally competitive manufacturing hub cannot be completed in a short time or by the central government alone and states also need to play a major role.”
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given priority to manufacturing in his development strategy and many changes have been made in rules and regulations so as to make it easier to do business.