India's leading car maker Maruti Suzuki's exports may come down by 10,000 units in this fiscal due to the financial crisis in Europe, a senior company executive on Thursday said.
Exports may reach 1.3 lakh units this year as against 1.4 lakh units last year, Maruti Suzuki Executive Managing Officer (Engineering) I V Rao told reporters in Hyderabad.
"Majorly, the exports is of A-star car to Europe. Because of the slowdown, the exports to Europe has come down. We have developed new markets like Latin American countries where exports began. Last year exports were at 1.4 lakh units and this year we may be touching 1.3 lakh units," Rao said.
Another company official, who did not want to be named, said the drop in exports was also due to the withdrawal of the scrappage scheme by some European nations last year. The scheme provided incentives to consumers to shift to smaller, fuel-efficient cars.
The situation, coupled with the macroeconomic down turn in some nations in the European region, has affected exports of the company, the official said. A-Star accounts for almost 80 per cent of the exports to European countries, the official added.
Rao said the production at the company's Manesar plant took a beating after the employees' strike in June. He however said the situation in the plant is normal now. Manesar's second plant will be commissioned by next month with a capacity to produce 2.5 lakh units annually.
Initially, it will start producing Swift in addition to the first plant.
Replying to a query on the company's R&D efforts, Rao said they are going to recruit around 300 professions for the division to take the overall R&D headcount to 1,300.
"We (R&D) are about 1,060 now. We want to be above 1,300 by March 31 this fiscal. We are trying to recruit fresh engineers and also experienced people from industry within India and also other countries," he said.