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Maruti readies for millionth-car bash

By Motortrend India Staff   |   18 March,2010

The country’s largest passenger car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, will set a record when it rolls out its millionth vehicle in a financial year on March 23.

Suzuki Motor Corp’s chairman Osamu Suzuki is flying down to India to celebrate the event.

While it took 26 years for the company to reach the 1-million sales mark in a single financial year, its target for meeting the two-million mark in a single year has been given a five-year band.

The company, in which Suzuki Motor Corp holds a stake of 54.2 per cent, would enter the league of select manufacturers that produce and sell a million units in a single year in one country. Though Toyota, GM and even Suzuki are in the million-club, their production is spread across different countries.

Maruti’s record production and sales comes in one of the best years for automobiles in India, with high double-digit growth expected this financial year. Most auto firms have reported their best sales this year.

“It (the roll out of the millionth vehicle) is indeed a very satisfying feeling, as it marks the culmination of a journey that started 26 years ago,” Maruti Suzuki chairman RC Bhargava said, adding, “Maruti Suzuki will now rank among a select few companies which would be producing a million units in a year”.

Maruti came into being when the Indian car industry had stagnated at a volume of 40,000 cars a year. The first car from the company, Maruti-800, created a buzz across the country and ruled the market for almost two decades after its launch in 1983.

Over the years the scenario of passenger car market has undergone a sea change. The Indian car market hit a volume of 200,000 units a year in 1993, a decade after 800’s launch. From two car models, Fiat and Ambassador 25 years ago, today over 50 models are produced in India by 12 manufacturers. The overall turnover of the Indian automobile industry is over Rs 150,000 crore.

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