Maruti Suzuki will limit exports to the last year’s level due to capacity constraints. “We are not competing in exports (with other car makers)... we are short of capacity. This year exports will not go beyond last year”, Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava said.
Maruti Suzuki exported 1.47 lakh units in 2008-09, the highest ever export figures, with the compact car A-star alone clocking over 1.27 lakh units.
A-star was exported to European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Major non-European export markets included Algeria, Chile, Indonesia and neighbouring countries. South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia and Norway were new markets where the company’s cars were exported during the year.
To address increasing demand, Maruti Suzuki has begun work to increase capacity at the Manesar plant. Production capacity after the expansion will reach 12.50 lakh units by 2012. In March 2010, the company had announced Rs 1,700 Crore investment for expanding production by 2.5 lakh units at the plant.
When asked if the company was facing delay in deliveries, Bhargava replied, “Almost all our models are in the waiting list ... I would say the average waiting list is three months for the diesel variant of Swift DZire. We will keep increasing production in whichever way we can primarily to meet customer demand...our reasonable target (to meet the demand) is 2012.”
On the growth of the car industry, he said it might grow by 15 per cent. Asked whether the company would phase out Maruti 800, the first small car introduced in 1982, he said, “sometimes, every model has to be stopped ... Maruti 800 will also end at one stage.. I dont know when it will happen.. right now, it is running... ”, he said.
Bhargava felt one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is lack of infrastructure. Maruti Suzuki reported a 17.28 per cent jump in sales to 88,091 units in June against 75,109 units in June 2009.