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Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Tuesday reported a more than doubling of its net profit in the last quarter of 2022 to 2,351 crore, helping its stock price end more than 3% higher on bourses. The profit figure was better than analyst expectations of 1,881 crore, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Revenue from operations grew by about 25% to 29,044 crore. With chip shortages easing, assembly lines look less likely to be disrupted now, which bodes well for future sales. Commodities coming off their recent price peaks have been a help on the cost front, to go with the relief Maruti’s import bill must have got from the yen’s weakening in rupee terms. Most importantly, the automaker’s results signal stronger market demand. Some of it may have been thanks to new launches. But if the results of other carmakers also shine, it will reinforce the hope that even the tail end of the covid slump has passed. Small cars, once Maruti’s sales mainstay, are losing out to sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), but India’s car market leader has duly kept pace with a succession of SUV roll-outs. Its weak spot, though, is its electric vehicle (EV) thrust. Tata Motors has taken the lead, and Maruti must play catch up.

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