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Maruti plans to launch four products in next 12-18 months

Pune: The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India plans to introduce around four new products in the next 12 to 18 months to build further on five years of successive double digit sales growth.

The company expects to close the ongoing fiscal with double digit sales growth. Its sales in the domestic market during the April-December period grew by 15.5% at 12,26,418 units as against 10,61,873 units in the year-ago period.

Maruti will launch the all-new version of its popular hatchback Swift at the upcoming Auto Expo to be held from 9-14 February. The company also plans to introduce a new refreshed version of its mid-sized sedan, Ciaz and multiple purpose vehicle Ertiga in the coming months.

“An all new version of compact car Wagon R is also in the pipeline but its launch timeline hasn’t been fixed,” a source said.

Maruti Suzuki India Senior Executive Director (Marketing and Sales) RS Kalsi, however, declined to comment on the company’s launch programme for the next fiscal.

“That’s a continuous process and we cannot comment on which one will come when,” he said when asked about the upcoming new product introductions in the market.

Commenting on the company’s performance in the ongoing fiscal, he said in the April-December period the company’s sales have grown by 15.3% but the growth rate will be lesser in the fourth quarter due to high base effect of the year-ago period.

“We will end the year on healthy double digit growth…Last six years we have been growing more than the industry. The best part is that this will be the fifth year of double digit growth in a row, which is quite an achievement,” Kalsi said.

He said the company has been able to sustain its growth momentum in the last few years despite challenges of two consecutive droughts in many parts of India that had an impact on rural markets and policy disruption such as demonetisation and impact of GST implementation.

Currently the industry growth is at 8.13% and MSI is confident that it would be ahead of the industry again, he added.

When asked about the outlook for 2018-19, Kalsi said, “We expect the similar momentum to continue for the industry… We do not foresee any disruption”.

The company is confident that new products like the upcoming Swift will help in adding more volumes.

“On the first year of its launch Swift did one lakh units. Subsequent to that, the outgoing Swift has been selling on an average of 15,000 units a month. This (the new one) being many steps above that, we expect the market demand will be more than that,” Kalsi added.

The company’s parent Suzuki has spent around Rs 800 crore on the development of the new Swift. The new vehicle will so be produced at Suzuki’s plant along with Baleno, besides MSI’s Manesar plant.

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