Maruti Suzuki India to enter light commercial vehicles segment, may launch in 2 yrs

Jul 27 2013, 17:43 IST
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Maruti has not decided on the name of the LCV, which will available in both CNG and diesel variants: R C Bhargava Maruti has not decided on the name of the LCV, which will available in both CNG and diesel variants: R C Bhargava
Summary'Maruti has not decided on the name of the LCV, which will available in both CNG and diesel variants.'

1.21 lakh bookings, the Carry had only about 2,000. Then we had decided to drop the plans for launching the LCV," he said.

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Commenting on current market conditions, Bhargava said demand has slowed along with the country's economic growth.

"The working environment in India for doing business, not only in the automobile sector but also others, is not happening...even the FMCG business, which is the least recessionary, has been declining over the last few quarters. So you can imagine how it is affecting those who sell high-value durables," he said.

MSI posted a 49 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 631.6 crore in the quarter ended June 30, while net sales fell 5 per cent to Rs 9,995.12 crore, the company said July 25. Sales in Q1 were down 9.98 per cent to 2,66,343 units.

Bhargava said the company expects a growth of 4-6 per cent in retail sales and "usually the wholesale sales are about 2 percentage points lower than retail sales."

"We think there will be some improvement in demand as the monsoon has been good. Rural sales, which account for 30 per cent of our total sales, is expected to grow and the festive season sales will also help," he said.

Besides, elections, which have always helped sales, are also coming, he said. On exports, MSI expects to sell around 1.2 lakh units this fiscal, the same as last year.

Bhargava said demand for diesel vehicles, which had earlier driven sales in the country amid the slowdown, has tapered off due to rising prices of the fuel.

"From a peak of about 61 per cent of total sales at one time, sales of diesel has come down to 54 per cent," he said. MSI's share of diesel vehicle sales has fallen to 33 per cent from a peak of 38 per cent, he said.

"The assumption that diesel vehicles will drive growth is unlikely. Diesel is no longer the driver of industry as it was some time ago...Even when international crude prices come down, it is unlikely that fuel costs will come down in India due to the depreciating rupee," Bhargava added.

He said the company has been focusing on cost-saving programmes such as cutting down import content to offset the impact

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