Companies & Sectors
Maruti Suzuki says cannot 'afford' petrol cars; cuts production

Maruti Suzuki recently stopped production of petrol models, including the Alto, M800, A-Star, Estilo and Omni for three days to prevent inventories piling up further

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India, the country's largest car maker, said it decided to cut production of some its petrol variants, including the best selling Alto, as sales of such cars have declined due to high fuel costs, reports PTI.

"Petrol car sales are very low in these days as the market sentiment is down ... We do not believe in creating excess stock. So, we adjust our production accordingly," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) managing executive officer for marketing and sales, Mayank Pareek said.

The company had recently stopped production of petrol models, including the Alto, M800, A-Star, Estilo and Omni for three days to prevent inventories piling up further, he added.

"Normally we have inventories for three weeks. However, for petrol models, it is now around four and a half weeks," Pareek said, without sharing any numbers.

According to sources, MSI had stopped production lines of petrol models on 25th-26th May and on 2nd June at its Gurgaon facility. Its Manesar unit worked normally.

"The company had cut production of 8,000-8,500 units of petrol cars in these three days," a source said.

In May, the company's sales declined first time after four consecutive months of growth. It had reported 5% fall in total sales at 98,884 units last month, mainly due to declining sales of petrol-driven small cars.

The company's volume-driven mini-segment cars, comprising the M800, A-Star, Alto and WagonR, fell by 29% to 29,895 units during May from 42,125 units in same month last year.

Last month, petrol prices in India witnessed the steepest increase of Rs7.54 a litre in its history. However, faced with a public outcry over the hike, a partial rollback was done by cutting the prices by Rs2.02 per litre in this month.

MSI had described the hike as a "disaster" saying that it would further dent growth of the automobile industry.

"This will further increase the skew between petrol and diesel vehicle demand, which is already very wide. This will severely affect the sales of entry level cars, which are mainly petrol driven," Pareek had said.

Last year, the petrol segment declined by 16.2% as the demand shifted to diesel vehicles. Now there will be more demand for diesel cars after the price hike but most of the manufacturers are running on full capacity for diesel vehicles, he had said.

Earlier, the company had said that sales of petrol cars will be down by 50,000 units in 2012-13.

MSI is, however, expecting that its overall sales in this fiscal will grow by 10%, primarily driven by diesel cars.


Ashok Leyland gets $6 million order from Bangladesh

The Hinduja Group company would supply 50 units of its vestibule buses to Bangladesh for improving urban transportation in that country

Chennai: Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland sadi that it received its first overseas order for its for vestibule buses, worth $6 million from Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC), reports PTI.

The Chennai-headquartered company, in a statement, said it received the order for 50 units valued at $6 million under the Indian Line of Credit scheme offered by for the improvement of urban transportation in that country.

An agreement to this effect was signed between BRTC and Ashok Leyland recently.

"We were the first to introduce vestibule buses in India and now are excited about introducing this vehicle in Bangladesh..", said Vinod K Dasari, managing director, Ashok Leyland.

Ashok Leyland has so far exported 9,500 vehicles across various ranges to Bangladesh, it said.

In 2011, Ashok Leyland had received its first single largest order for 290 double-decker buses valued at $23.3 million from Bangladesh, the statement added.


KEC International gets orders worth Rs391 crore

The RPG Group company received orders of Rs391 in transmission segment from Tamil Nadu Transmission Corp and PowerGrid

Mumbai: Infrastructure company KEC International on Wednesday said it received several orders worth Rs391 crore spread across its transmission and telecom businesses, reports PTI.

In its transmission business, the RPG Group company, received an order worth Rs361 crore for 400 kV double circuit transmission line between Pandiankumppa and Veeraman village, on turnkey basis from Tamilnadu Transmission Corporation, the company said in a statement.

The 114 km project is expected to be completed within 18 months.

For its telecom business, KEC, an engineering procurement and construction (EPC) company, got a Rs30 crore order from Power Grid Corporation for supply and establishment of optical power ground wire (OPGW) communication systems on turnkey basis in north-east region of India.

The 1,100 km project is expected to be completed within 15 months, it said.


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