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Updated: March 22, 2013 23:59 IST

Need to focus on SUVs to maintain share: Maruti MD

Staff Reporter
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Shinzo Nakanishi. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu Shinzo Nakanishi. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Maruti Suzuki, on Friday, said it needed to focus on the SUV and multi-purpose vehicles segment to increase its market share.

“In the current market scenario, SUVs and multi-purpose vehicles are growing in India. We are not growing there. We need to have a strong presence here to grow. One Ertiga is not enough,” the company’s outgoing Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi told reporters here.

Once Mr. Nakanishi retires on April 1, Kenichi Ayukawa will take over as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI).

Echoing similar views, Chairman R. C. Bhargava said, “Even today without SUVs our share will be about 50 per cent. We have to do something in this segment.”

About the auto industry in India, he said it had not been going through “very happy times”, and had been witnessing negative growth.

“I do not see the next financial year to be very different from this fiscal. There is nothing concrete happening to pin hopes on,” he added.

Negative factors such as fuel price hike and high interest rates had to be set off by economic growth, he said.

On recent production cuts, Mr. Bhargava said, it depended on how the market behaved.

The company’s petrol car sales have been falling. In December it fell 12 per cent, in January 15 per cent, and in February 20 per cent. MSI, which has been witnessing an increase in its diesel car production, is hopeful that diesel car sales will grow from 4,00,000 units to 4,65,000 units in the next fiscal.

Further, Mr. Bhargava said the company expected about 5-7 per cent growth in the domestic market in the next financial year.

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