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|February 24, 2000||
Maruti to roll out new model every year
Suzuki Motor Corporation President and CEO Osamu Suzuki today announced that Maruti Udyog Limited will introduce at least one new passenger car model every year to maintain its leadership in the Indian automobile industry.
In addition, the existing models will be upgraded on a continuous basis, Suzuki said while addressing Maruti's All India Dealers' Convention in New Delhi, dealer sources said.
Suzuki said, a minimum of one new model will be introduced every year in India besides upgradation of the existing ones.
Maruti has already introduced the Baleno and Wagon-R this year and more new models are in the offing.
However, Suzuki did not divulge details on the specific models to be introduced in India.
SMC controls 50 per cent stake in MUL and the remaining equity is held by Government of India. Suzuki also assured the dealers that SMC will provide total support to the dealer community. He was quoted as saying that no other car maker can boast of a better product portfolio than SMC.
Riding on the introduction of new models, MUL will achieve total sales of 500,000 vehicles during 2000-01. ''This fiscal's sales target of 415,000 units is achievable and we will surely ramp up sales to 500,000 units next year,'' he was quoted as saying.
Expressing happiness over the 161-strong dealer network of Maruti, he said there was scope for further improvement.
Meanwhile, several presentations were made before Suzuki which pointed out that in view of the expanding passenger car market in India, Maruti's share would ultimately drop to 65 per cent. However, the company will continue to be a leader and its sales will be on the rise with newer introductions.
It may be recalled that Maruti Udyog Managing Director Jagdish Khattar had recently announced that the company is working towards introducing a Station-Wagon version of its luxury segment offering the Baleno and two versions of Alto in India in the current calender year. However, he had declined to state a time-frame for the same.
''We would be initiating a feasibility study for the Station-Wagon version. We have received tremendous response for the car and are keen on introducing it in the market. But we have to ensure that it does not cannibalise the existing Baleno... The positioning in terms of price and otherwise has to be checked,'' Khattar had said.
Khattar had further stated that the company would also consider introducing a diesel option on the Baleno.
Meanwhile, earlier today, the Federation of Automobile Dealers' Association felicitated Suzuki for his role in initiating modernisation of the passenger car industry in India.
FADA president Vinay Nevatia presented a citation to Suzuki which read, ''You have proved that business is not only profit but brings with it a human responsibility. You have involved your dealers, vendors and employees in 188 countries of the world where your business activity is spread. You truly are a corporate world citizen.''
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