Tuesday, March 26, 2013
By Pawan Rana
Maruti banks on diesel cars, plans capacity expansion of Manesar plant
The government is doing its best to dent car sales in India. The Budget did it, the gradual increase of diesel price by 50 paisa per month is doing it and the higher duties on big SUVs as well as luxury cars will do the rest from April 1. Still, car makers such as Maruti are relying high on diesel cars. The car giant is thinking of an expansion of the Manesar plant that produces some of the best selling diesel cars such as Maruti Swift and Maruti Swift Dzire. The car maker is soon to set up a new assembly line at the plant and with this the plant capacity will add around 1.5 lakh more cars to the current capacity.
Maruti has very timely shifted its focus from petrol cars to diesel cars. Earlier, when the demand for petrol cars was high, Maruti was the only manufacturer with so many choices of petrol cars in almost every segment. But as soon as the market took a turn towards diesel cars, the car maker has timely started producing more diesel cars. With the petrol car sales on the downslide due to high petrol prices, the car maker has even shutdown production for some days at the Gurgaon where all of its petrol cars such as the Maruti Alto K10, Maruti Alto 800 and other cars are produced.
The scheduled expansion will be in the month of September and this will give a room to the car maker to increase the supply of diesel cars. Already popular diesel cars such as Swift and Swift Dzire have a little waiting period in some areas and the capacity expansion will be easing quick ready at hand delivery of Maruti cars. The green signal to the expansion was given after the government had said no to special tax on diesel cars and differential pricing of diesel for cars. But experts believe that the current strategy of the government to increase the price of diesel will be somehow denting the sales of diesel cars in India. Still, will the improved diesel engine technology and high mileage of diesel cars, these cars will always be ahead in terms of sales now on.