Maruti Suzuki India is undertaking a feasibility study for setting up an assembly facility in Sri Lanka. At present, some of its exports are headed to this market. A few sites around Colombo are being investigated for economic viability, according to R C Bhargava, chairman, who told our sister magazine, Autocar Professional that certain issues are involved that had to be streamlined.
“These relate to taxation and workers and have to be first sorted out with the Sri Lankan government before the plan for setting up the assembly plant can be finalised,” he said.
Other export markets that will be further strengthened are Africa and Middle East which are developing markets and offer a good opportunity for selling Indian cars.
The carmaker will meanwhile continue to tap growth in rural markets here, which account for 30 percent of total sales. Bhargava said retail sales of Maruti grew 18 percent in rural markets during April-November 2013 contributing 200,000 units of total sales.
“We have reached 60,000 villages compared to 44,000 villages last year. The target is to penetrate 100,000 villages by March 2014,” said Mayank Pareek, chief operating officer, sales and marketing.
The company’s much-touted Gujarat plant has been put on the backburner for the time being, though Bhargava says that the land has been acquired, the boundary wall has been built and basic infrastructure like water and other things are being put into place. Development work on Maruti’s first LCV (codename Y9T) that was earlier expected to roll out from the Gujarat plant is on track and will roll out from either the Gurgaon or Manesar plants.
Maruti has plans to launch a number of new models in the next calendar year and Ayukawa, managing director and CEO, Maruti India, says that the carmaker’s focus will remain on the people’s cars that are affordable as there are other carmakers to meet the requirements of more luxury models.(Auto Car)