Maruti Suzuki India Posts 5.5% Declines in Sales in March
Maruti Suzuki India Posts 5.5% Declines in Sales in MarchReuters/Amit Dave/Files

Maruti Suzuki's plans to ramp up its Manesar plant capacity is undeterred by the sluggish demand in the auto market. According to India's largest auto manufacturer, the third assembly line at the Manesar plant will commence from September this year.

India's car market has been reeling under slow demand over the past couple of months. Several other auto majors are in a tryst to revive the market with attractive and interesting schemes for consumers. It was said that Maruti was also hit but the slow demand when the company suspended petrol car production at its Gurgaon plant earlier this month. But the decision to increase the manufacturing capacity indicated that the company is unfazed by the market slowdown.

 "The plant C at Manesar will be commissioned later this year. We do have excess production for petrol cars. But the Manesar unit mostly produces diesel vehicles. With the diesel engine plant also scheduled to become operational around the same time, we will manufacture more diesel cars in line with market demand," said R C Bhargava, chairman, MSIL, reported Business Standard.

With the commission of the additional capacity, Maruti would be able to roll out an additional 250,000 units over its existing capacity. Also, the company is in a tryst to increase the production of diesel-powered vehicles up to 16 percent by the end of 2014 fiscal year. Maruti eyes a sale of 400,000 diesel vehicles by the end of current fiscal.

 "We expect to sell around 465,000 diesel vehicles next fiscal. There continues to remain a waiting for our popular diesel models such as Swift, DZire and Ertiga," said Bhargava added.

Maruti is likely to begin construction of a new plant in Gujarat in the coming quarter. The final decision on this will be taken in the next board meeting which is going to be held in April.

Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki has reported a plunge of 7.9 percent to 1, 09,567 units in its total sales for February 2013, as against 1, 18,949 units for the same month last year. The decision to halt its car production might have been influenced by the decline in vehicles sales last month.