Maruti increases capacity at Manesar plant

Gurgaon: Maruti Suzuki India is ramping up capacity at its fourth and newest plant at Manesar near Gurgaon. After the completion of the programme at the end of March, the company will be able to roll out 1.7 lakh units of vehicles per annum from this facility, up 70 per cent from the current installed capacity.

Maruti Suzuki's DZire, the sedan version of the Swift, will also be rolled out after production capacity is enhanced. 

The plant, commissioned in February 2007, attained full capacity within weeks of going onstream and is currently manufacturing at 120 per cent of its installed capacity. The company rolls out the Swift (both diesel and petrol variants) and the SX4 sedan from this plant.

According to the company, with the enhanced capacity, the waiting period for the Swift, which is two to three months will come down.

The company is also expanding capacity at Manesar for the manufacture of its fifth strategic model, A-Star that will be rolled out in October this year. Exports of this model are expected to start from June 2009. By 2010, Maruti Suzuki aims to increase capacity to 3,00,000 cars at this plant.

Maruti Suzuki is seeing moderation of growth going by its February sales numbers. After clocking a growth of 27 per cent year-on-year in November, the number of vehicles sold grew by 7 per cent year-on-year in December, 4.2 per cent in January and now, by about 1.3 per cent.

The introduction of the Swift diesel and the new-look Zen (Estilo) in the A2 (compact) segment and the SX4 in the A3 (mid-size) segment last year, propped volume growth in 2007. Hence due to a high-base effect, growth now appears to be slower. 

Going forward the company is expected to reap the benefits of reduced excise duty from 16 per cent to 12 per cent that the Budget 2008 proposes for small cars.