Maruti confident of controlling half of domestic market

Maruti confident of controlling half of domestic market


New Delhi: Country’s largest car maker Maruti today said it would maintain control of over half of the Indian automart this fiscal despite tough market conditions.

“We are fighting for market share and we will maintain it. Last year it was about 55 per cent," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek told reporters on the sidelines of company’s annual auto rally, Raid-de-Himalaya.

Auto companies have been hit by high interest rates and unavailability of finances with sales registering negative growth since July, the first time in almost three years.

“The market condition has been really very tough in the last five months and along with the industry, MSI has also witnessed only a five per cent growth," Pareek added.

He also admitted that long waiting period for sedan Swift DZiRE is affecting MSI’s bid to garner more market share.

“I would like to say no, but it is yes," he said when asked if there has been any effect due to long waiting period of 6-8 months for the car.

On rising input costs affecting the margins of the firm, Pareek said, “Obviously, margins have contracted. But we are very good at cost cutting... manufacturers will have to find new innovative ways to deal with the situation."

The company will introduce its global car ‘A-Star´ in India in November, which would subsequently be exported to Europe, besides launching ‘Splash´ in 2009, Pareek said.

Maruti Suzuki plans to export two lakh cars annually by 2010-11 to be led by A-Star.

It had reported 10.15% decline in domestic sales during August, while sales in July was flat compared to the corresponding months of the previous year.