Maruti to slash diesel engine exports; keep them for India

Maruti Suzuki, India's biggest-selling carmaker, said today it would cut the export of diesel engines drastically to cater for the local market.

''We are reducing export of diesel engines significantly to cater to the domestic demand. Currently we export about 35,000 to 45,000 units every year to Hungary,'' Maruti executive officer (marketing and sales) Mayank Pareek said in Udaipur.

The company is facing increasing competition in its bread-and-butter small car segment from new entrants like the Ford Figo, the Toyota Liva and the Volkswagen Polo. It has clearly realised that Indian buyers prefer diesel engines to petrol, as diesel prices remain heavily subsidised.

Banking heavily on a new version of its popular Swift, the company said in a press release that Maruti will increase production of the car to reduce the waiting period for customers.

''Production of Swift will be increased to 17,000-18,000 units per month from the earlier 10,000-11,000 units. Thus the waiting period will come down to two-three months from three-four months earlier,'' Pareek told reporters.

The company's diesel engine plant at Manesar currently produces 280,000 engines per annum, but it needs about 400,000 lakh units for the Indian market. ''The additional engines that we get (after cutting exports) will go for the Swift in India,'' Pareek said.