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Maruti in one-million league

New Delhi, March 22: Maruti Suzuki India has joined the elite group of car makers that produce one million cars a year. Maruti will roll out its millionth car from its Manesar facility tomorrow.

Others in the exclusive club include Japan’s Toyota, America’s General Motors and Ford, Germany’s Volkswagen and France’s Renault.

The country’s largest car maker aims to double capacity to two million units annually over the next 6-7 years.

Production between April 2009 and February 2010 has touched 9.31 lakh units, while sales stood at 9.23 lakh units.

For 2010-11, the company plans to invest Rs 2,500 crore.

“The company would like to double production over the next 6-7 years. For this, we will have to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 10-12 per cent. But it will all depend on the overall economic growth of the country and many other economic variables,” chairman R.C. Bhargava told The Telegraph.

Analysts say Maruti’s target of doubling output can be achieved, though the competition has become very stiff with the entry of new players.

“The market is expanding exponentially. It is very much an achievable target. The company will have to maintain its sales and cost competitiveness,” said auto analyst Murad Ali Baig.

On investments for the next year, Bhargava said, “It will include Rs 1,700 crore for capacity expansion at Manesar, another Rs 1,000-1,500 crore for development of our R&D centre at Rohtak and launches.”

Maruti will invest Rs 1,700 crore at Manesar to increase the annual output to 5,50,000 units from the current 3,00,000 units.

“The new facilities are scheduled to start operating in 2012. As a result, Maruti will have an annual production capacity of 1.25 million units — 7,00,000 from Gurgaon and 5,50,000 from Manesar,” Suzuki had said in a statement.

Maruti had set out on its journey with the launch of Maruti-800 in 1983. In its first year of operations, Maruti had produced 840 cars, and in the following fiscal, production had touched a little over 22,000.

Suzuki Motor Corp chairman Osamu Suzuki will be present when the one-millionth car comes out from Manesar tomorrow.

The company enjoys over 54 per cent share of the domestic car market with a presence in over 450 towns and cities through a network of 681 sales outlets.

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