Maruti Suzuki eyes 100% jump in exports in FY10

Maruti Suzuki has said that it expects to double its exports to about 1.6 lakh units this fiscal, while it is looking at overall sales growth of over 20%

The country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSI), on Monday said that it expects to double its exports to about 1.6 lakh units this fiscal, while it is looking at a 20% overall sales growth, reports PTI.

"Last fiscal, we exported 80,000 units. We are expecting 100% growth in exports this fiscal," MSI executive officer for marketing and sales, Mayank Pareekh told reporters on the sidelines of an AIMA event in New Delhi.

The company's overseas sales growth was driven mainly by the export of its flagship model A-Star, which clocked sales of over one lakh units till December 2010, within 11 months of launch. MSI aims to cross two lakh units of exports by 2010-11.

The A-star, which is produced only in the company's Manesar facility, is exported primarily to Europe and countries like Chile, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria and the UAE, where it is sold as the Suzuki Celerio.

It also contract manufactures the model for Japanese car major Nissan, which sells it in the European market as Pixo.

Recently, MSI had kick-started exporting its latest model Ritz to South East Asia as well to expand its export portfolio, besides exploring the West Asia market.

Commenting on the overall sales growth of the company, Mr Pareekh said, "So far on an average, we have been growing at about 20%-22% this fiscal and we expect this to continue. Overall for the entire fiscal, we expect this level of growth."

Maruti had sold over 800,000 units, of which the domestic market contributed 722,000 units, Mr Pareekh said.

"We will produce a million units this fiscal and of course we will try to sell this within the year. So far we have sold about 840,000 units this fiscal," he said. The company has rationalised and reactivated its capacities and "currently we are producing at peak of our level", he said.

On rising commodity prices, Mr Pareekh said that they are still going up and pressure on margins continued. He, however, declined to comment if MSI would look for another round of price hikes. "As a company policy, at first we try to absorb it. In January we increased prices by less than 1%."

On Budget expectations, he said that the government should continue with the policies that helped the auto industry to grow at about 21% in the last 12 months.

"It will be too early to exit from stimulus measures as those were the main reasons for growth of the industry. It is too early to say that the auto industry has fully recovered (from the slump due to the global economic crisis)," he said.

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