Maruti to hike output by at least 70,000 units this year

The country's largest car producer, Maruti Suzuki, plans to scale up its production by at least 70,000 units in this year to meet demand, the company's managing executive officer (engineering) I V Rao said in Hyderabad on Saturday.

''We are trying to eliminate wasteful operations in our manufacturing plants and increase productivity levels of employees. We aim to produce at least 70,000 cars,'' Rao said, adding that capacity expansion in company's Manesar plant by another 2.5 lakh units will be completed by 2012.

Rao agreed that there is a long waiting list for some of the hot selling brands like Swift and Swift Dezire, and said that according to industry reports the car market will witness 10 to 12 per cent growth in this fiscal. Going by that, Maruti Suzuki, which has crossed one million car production mark last year, will have to produce at least one lakh additional units in this year to meet the demand.

Presently, the plants are working at more than the 100 per cent capacity. Maruti's two plants in Gurgaon and Manesar together have an installed capacity of 800,000 cars.

According to Rao, Maruti exported 1.4 lakh cars to other countries, mainly in Europe. He was hopeful of maintaining the same figure this year also.
He said by 2012, the company would completely change one of the present hot-selling models and roll out in a new form with new design including body and interiors.

The company launched its new Wagaon R in the Andhra Pradesh market on Saturday. He said the research and development team of Maruti is currently working on a project to come out with a CNG or LPG variant of Wagon R.

Priced between Rs3.28 lakh and Rs3.81 lakh the new WagonR will take on newly launched models like the Chevrolet Beat (priced Rs3.41 lakh-Rs4.43 lakh), Ford Figo (Rs3.49 lakh-Rs3.99 lakh), and Hyundai i10 (Rs3.47 lakh-Rs3.83 lakh), among others.

MSI said the new car showcases the advancement it has made in research and development and the ability to adapt from global platforms to Indian conditions.