The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Small cars still drive Maruti

Calcutta, Dec. 12: Maruti Udyog (MUL) will focus on the small car segment in order to generate volumes, managing director Jagdish Khattar said. Speaking to reporters here today, Khattar made it clear that the country’s largest passenger car manufacturer will retain its 50 per cent share of the market despite the competition.

“Our study on the domestic car market shows that the average choice goes in favour of small cars. Although we are present in other segments as well, our intention is to strengthen our position in the small car segment,” Khattar said.

While declining comment on whether the company plans to introduce any new model, Khattar said the current focus is to reposition all existing brands in the B-segment, as well as the entry model- Maruti-800.

Later, Khattar told The Telegraph that the demand for M-800 has grown so much that the company had to airlift five consignment of parts from the parent company—Suzuki Motors.

Khattar also categorically said the company does not have any intention to introduce models in segments that don’t generate volumes. “We are not really interested in manufacturing a few top-line cars that don’t sell more than a few hundreds only to make our presence felt in that category,” he said.

The company is optimistic about maintaining its profitability during the current financial year while the turnover is expected to cross the Rs 9,000-crore mark. It has also chalked out an ambitious target to export more than 30,000 vehicles, especially its latest offering, the Alto. MUL exported merely 12,000 vehicles last year.

The MD has also hinted at a price hike of its models. Despite the sluggishness in the sector, the company has been able to perform according to its target for each model, he said.

Khattar was here to launch Maruti Finance in the eastern region. It has tied up with eight finance companies including Citicorp Maruti, ICICI Bank, Maruti Countrywide, HDFC Bank, Standard Chartered, ABN Amro, Kotak Mahindra and Sundaram Finance.

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