Tokyo: With Indian companies led by the likes of Tata and Mahindra and Mahindra getting active in acquisitions and alliances in the global auto sector, Japanese small car major Suzuki Motors Co has said its Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki would play a significant role for the group in such activities.
“As a key member of global Suzuki group, Maruti Suzuki will take a significant role in the future,” Suzuki Motor Co (SMC) Chairman Osamu Suzuki told PTI.
He was responding to a query if he was in favour of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), considering it huge cash reserves to the tune of Rs5,500 crore, getting into alliances -- cross border or domestic -- in the wake of Tatas buying Jaguar and Land Rover and M&M getting into alliance with Renault besides also buying component companies.
Maruti has already surpassed the parent in terms of domestic sales and recently it emerged as the fourth most reputed auto company in the “Global 200: The World’s Best Corporate Reputations” list, compiled by US-based Reputation Institute ahead of SMC which came eighth.
Asked how confident he was about MSI maintaining more than 50% market share in India, Suzuki said: “An entire generation of Indian people has grown up with Maruti Suzuki since we entered the Indian automobiles market in 1982.
“We are sure of continuing to offer attractive vehicles for everybody in India in the future, therefore we think it is not impossible for us to maintain 50% passenger market share.”
He also said the research and development facility at MSI was being developed to be at par with SMC’s in Japan.
“In terms of research and development, we would like to introduce facilities, including test course, which are of equivalent level as that of Japan,” Suzuki said, adding the company would also be investing marketing infrastructure in future.
A strong critic of Tata’s Nano, which has caught the imagination of the world even forcing the likes of Renault and Hyundai to plan similar products, Suzuki declined to comment on the profitability of such a car.
“We would like to refrain from commenting about Rs one lakh car until its launch,” he said.
On SMC’s two-wheeler venture in India, which has not met with great success, he said: “We launched the sale of motorcycles in April, 2006 and it is a competitive market with many challenges.”