Maruti to increase capacity to reduce waiting period

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki is trying to quickly ramp up production as longer waiting periods for some of its models can impact sales adversely.Huge backlog is an area of concern, Maruti Suzuki said on Thursday.The companys market share has been eroding after new launches by rivals in the small car segment.
Except A-Star,Estilo and M800,all our models are on waiting list.Nearly 20-25 % of our customers have to wait to get their cars, said Mayank Pareek,executive officer for marketing and sales.Marutis Dzire sedan has a waiting period of four to five months,the Swift has about three months,while the Eeco has about five months.Maruti will invest about $1.3 billion by 2013.It hopes to make 1.75 million units annually by that time against the current capacity of around 1.3 million.
Chairman R C Bharghava admitted that Maruti Suzuki could not anticipate that the market would regain momentum at such pace after the lull due to the slowdown in late 2008 and early 2009.In hindsight,we can say that we were conservative.Nobody had expected this type of a boom to happen. The company is also watching the spate of new model launches by rivals.We are not focused fundamentally on retaining market share.We want to meet demand of customers as much as possible.But for that we need production, Bhargava said.While many customers still stayed with the brand despite the waiting lists,some did migrate to other players,he added.Marutis share of the Indian car market at the end of August was 51.8%,he said.This is down from 53.2% in the previous fiscal year and 55.1% in 2008-09.On sales,he said demand is likely to remain strong throughout this year.