Maruti eyes emerging mkts to push sales

Written by Corporate Bureau | Kolkata, Sep 27 | Updated: Sep 28 2008, 06:39am hrs
Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) is eyeing emerging markets such as Africa, Algeria, Latin America, Chile, Egypt and West Asia to gear up exports of its compact cars, as it targets a four-fold exports growth in the next two years.

The company exported around 53,000 cars in 2007-08 and plans to push the number to 2 lakh by 2010-11.

Countries like Africa have a huge market for second-hand big cars brought from Europe and Germany. We are trying to replace them with our compact cars which are much more fuel efficient, a company spokesperson said.

The Indian auto major has also been eyeing the European market, which it exited two years back as it was looking for a suitable model. It would market its forthcoming model in the A2 segment in the European market under the Alto brand name, and in countries like Africa and Latin America under the Celerio brand.

We are concentrating on the A2 segment as of now for exports, said the spokesperson. Maruti has six models in the compact car segment.

The auto major will also produce a derivative model for Nissan Motor Company under the name Pixo in India. Nissan will sell it in the European and West-Asian markets.

A Star, Maruti Suzukis forthcoming hatchback car in the A2 segment, scheduled to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on October 2, will hit Indian roads by mid-November.

We have plans to sell 20,000 A Stars in India this fiscal. We are likely to start export of the car from January-February, he said.

Maruti Suzuki, which has a market share of 66% in the compact car segment in India, sold more than 7.64 lakh cars in 2007-08. We have seen a good double-digit growth in the A2 basic and A2 Plus segments. A2 segment is going to be the driver of Indian market, the spokesperson said.