Country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India today lowered sales growth projection to 3-5 per cent for this financial year,although it is banking on the newly launched Alto 800 to give a boost.
The company today introduced the new version of its best selling small car Alto in both petrol and CNG options,offered at introductory prices ranging between Rs 2.44 lakh and Rs 3.56 lakh (ex-showroom,Delhi).
“We are expecting to grow 3-5 per cent this fiscal. High petrol prices are impacting our sales badly as most of our best selling models are in this mode,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi told reporters here. Although diesel prices have been increased now,it will take some time to bring back customers to petrol cars again,he added.
The company had earlier projected a growth of 10 per cent during 2012-13.
In 2011-12,MSI’s total sales declined by 10.80 per cent to 11,33,695 units from 12,71,005 units in 2010-11. Domestic sales decreased by 11.16 per cent to 10,06,316 from 11,32,739 units in the previous fiscal.
“During the first six months,our total sales remained flat. In the second half of this fiscal,we are expecting market to improve,” Nakanishi said.
During April-September period,MSI witnessed 1.42 per cent fall in its sales at 5,26,272 units from 5,33,833 units in the year-ago period.
Nakanishi said the company’s exports will also fall during this fiscal.
“All over the world,the situation is very tough. We will not reach our last fiscal’s sales numbers in export markets,” he said.
MSI is likely to sell 10,000 units less than 1.27 lakh units that were exported in 2011- 2,he added.
The company,however,is hoping to clock good numbers during the upcoming festive season,mainly on the back of good demand for its new Alto 800.
“We had started the booking for this new Alto from late September and before the launch,we have received over 10,000 bookings,” Nakanishi said.
MSI Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek said around 15 per cent rise in sales are witnessed during the festivals.
The petrol variant of the new Alto has been priced at Rs 2.44 lakh and will go up to Rs 2.99 lakh as compared to Rs 2.49-Rs 3 lakh of the existing Alto. The new car also promises a fuel efficiency of 22.74 km per litre.
The new CNG variant has been priced at Rs 3.19 lakh to Rs 3.56 lakh as compared to Rs 2.97-3.48 lakh for the existing one. MSI claims that the new CNG Alto has a fuel efficiency of 30.46 km per kg.
The new Alto 800 will directly compete with Hyundai Motor India’s Eon,which is priced between Rs 2.75 lakh and Rs 3.81 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
Nakanishi further said,”Around 200 engineers from Suzuki Motor Corporation and Maruti Suzuki were jointly involved in development of the new Alto for over four years.”
MSI and its vendors have spent Rs 470 crore in developing the new Alto 800,which is based on the platform of the previous model.
On production plans of the new Alto,MSI Chief Operating Officer (Production) M M Singh said the company is rolling out 800-1,000 units every day from its Gurgaon facility.
The 796-cc Alto was first launched in September 2000 and has registered sales of over 20 lakh units so far. The company exported 2.47 lakh units of the small car till date.
MSI is looking to regain its lost ground in the small car segment with the launch of the new Alto. Last year,it had sold 3.08 lakh units of Alto compared to 3.4 lakh in the previous year.