Jodhpur- Maruti Suzuki expects to keep growing faster than the domestic passenger vehicle industry riding on the back of strong demand for its models especially the SUV range, according to a senior company executive.

The auto major anticipates the overall passenger vehicle market to grow in the range of 5-7 per cent this fiscal.

In an interaction with PTI, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Senior Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Shashank Srivastava said the PV industry is expected to close the current fiscal at 40.5-41.3 lakh units.

“We have not revised our estimates which we had made at the beginning of the year. We said the industry growth would be in the 5-7 per cent range and our growth should be higher than the industry,” Srivastava said.

He noted that in the first quarter, the company grew by 12.2 per cent while the industry grew by around 9.5 per cent.

Srivastava said that the demand remains fairly robust so far in the fiscal with the April-June period turning out to be the best quarter ever for the industry.

“We believe going forward while the volumes may hold because bookings remain strong, the growth may be muted and the reason I say that is because the base effect may be coming into effect now,” he said.

He said last year in the second quarter, the sales stood at 10.2 lakh units which was the highest quarter in the history of PVs.

“So to have growth significantly higher may be unreasonable to expect,” Srivastava stated.

When asked about the company’s preparation for the upcoming festive season, he noted that with the semiconductor shortage subsiding, the automaker aims to enhance production and bring down the waiting period on models like Ertiga, Brezza and XL6 significantly.

MSI currently has a pending booking backlog of around 3.62 lakh units.

“In the second quarter, we are expecting the semiconductor shortage to be comparatively less and therefore, we will be able to produce these models and hopefully we would be able to bring down the waiting period for customers,” Srivastava said.

On the company’s plans regarding the introduction of more hybrid models going ahead, he said: “It is going to be significant as we have said that by 2030 the rough break up will be 15 per cent electric, 25 per cent hybrid and 60 per cent CNG, biogas, ethanol, blended gasoline etc.” He further said that the company currently just has two hybrid models in its portfolio and the number is expected to increase in the future.

“We won’t be able to give the exact number of models which will come up but the percentages do indicate something like that (model number to increase),” Srivastava said.

He noted that CNG along with hybrid car sales this year should match the company’s peak of diesel sales which stood at 4.8 lakh units in 2017-18. (PTI)


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