Maruti eyes selling 2 million cars a year by 2020

NEW DELHI: Auto major Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) plans to accelerate new product launches in the country in line with its vision of selling 20 lakh cars per annum by 2020.

The company, which sells various popular models including Alto and Swift, is looking to have a localization content of around 85 per cent on an average across its premium and volume products.

"We are moving towards achieving 2 million vehicle sales in India. New product launches is a step in that direction. Suzuki has already said there are 20 new products that could be launched over the next five years.

"Some of these models would go into existing sales channel while others into premium (Nexa) channel," MSI executive director sales and marketing RS Kalsi told analysts in a call.

New product launches, however, will happen in the country keeping in mind the market situation and overall plans for the country, he said.

In order to push sales in premium segment and in line to achieve 2 million (20 lakh) sales by 2020, the company has recently rolled out a new sales channel - Nexa.

The company plans to sell its premium offerings, starting with S-Cross model, through this channel while other models will continue to be sold through the existing dealerships.

The company has already launched Celerio diesel in the current year and is all set to introduce S-Cross crossover in the country next month.

On localization, MSI chief financial officer Ajay Seth said the company is looking at an average of 85 per cent in both mass market and premium products, inclusive of direct import by the company and indirect by its vendors.

He said there could be some exceptions in some premium products such as the S-Cross in which the engine is imported.

The company has lined up a capex of Rs 4,000 crore for the current fiscal. "It would be utilized for new model launches, R&D, in marketing infrastructure and routine activities," Seth said.

On the opportunities in the domestic market, Kalsi said: "There is huge opportunity in every segment ranging from entry level to premium segment. We are bridging all the gaps in our portfolio."

He added that the company has improved its tally of first time buyers despite tough market conditions.

"First time buyers percentage has gone up from 43 to 46 per cent. This has happened at a time when the entry level segment is witnessing pressure," Kalsi said.

When asked about the production capacity of automated manual transmission (AMT) engines, Kalsi said the company is in process of enhancing the monthly production from 4,000 units to 8,000 and would also look at hiking it to 12,000 units a month in the next 1.5 years.

Shares of the company were trading at Rs 4,272, up 1.82 per cent, on the BSE towards the close of the session.

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