Maruti’s Sep sales to jump over 30%

Maruti’s Sep sales to jump over 30%

New Delhi: The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Wednesday said it expects September sales to increase by over 30% due to robust demand during the festive season but cautioned that a looming hike in interest rates on car loans may not help in maintaining the momentum.

The company also said it could consider increasing the production capacity beyond 10 lakh units a year after completing the ongoing re-alignment between the two facilities in Gurgaon and Manesar.

“We perhaps had one of the best Navratras... We are not able to supply cars to customers according to full demand. In September, our domestic sales should be closer to 70,000- 71,000 units," Maruti Suzuki India chief general manager (marketing) Shashank Srivastava told reporters on the sidelines of an event to announce the 11th Raid-De-Himalaya car rally, here.

In addition, the company is aiming to sell about 13,000 units in the overseas markets, he added.

According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) data, the Gurgaon-based auto maker had sold a total of 62,702 units in September, 2008.

“We hope to maintain same growth in October also... But if inflation goes up, then interest rates may also go up. In that case, we may see a damp in sales," Srivastava said.

He further said the company would be able to assess the impact of a delayed monsoon only after the harvesting season around November.

Asked about increasing its production capacities in the two plants due to rising demand, Srivastava said, “Currently we are capable of producing 10 lakh cars every year. A re- alignment is going on between the two plants and there is a possibility of producing more than 10 lakh units after completing the process."

He, however, declined to give any time-frame when the re-alignment process is expected to be completed. The company is shifting production of some of its models, including that of M 800, Omni and Gypsy, to Manesar from its old facility at Gurgaon.

On the company’s outlook for the entire year, Srivastava said, “We are more optimistic. In the first half, we grew more than the industry at 16-17%. Industry grew at about 7%. It is very much possible to have a double-digit growth for the entire year."

Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday announced its annual 2,000-km long Himalayan car rally, in which it has seen highest ever participation of 210 competitors. The auto adventure would start on 6 October and would end on 13 October.