The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Tuesday rolled out its 1 millionth (10 lakh) car in this financial year, making it the first domestic carmaker to do so.
With a gamut of global car manufacturers eyeing a pie out of Maruti’s over 50 per cent market share in India, the company has set a rather steep target to double its production to 2 million units in the next five years. It took 26 years for Maruti to reach 1 million capacity from 843 cars in 1983-84.
As a sign of the changing times, the millionth car was not the M800, which kick started its journey, but the Swift, which has acted as a catalyst in its growth in the last five years.
Around 15 global carmakers have a production capacity of more than 1 million per annum.
“Since 1983, when we produced our first Maruti 800, we have so far produced 8.8 million (88 lakh) cars,” said Osamu Suzuki, chairman, Suzuki Motor Corporation, which holds 54 per cent in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. “In this journey, not everything has come smoothly and not all moments have been happy. I would say 50 per cent were happy and 50 per cent were sad.”
Maruti announced a fresh investment of Rs 1,700 crore towards opening a new plant at Manesar, its fifth in the country, with an annual capacity of 2.5 lakh units. The plant will be operational by 2012 and will take the carmaker’s overall capacity to over 12.5 lakh per annum.
The company also announced investment worth Rs 2,500 crore for research and development activities and expansion of engine manufacturing.
“All world class manufacturers are coming to India and there is severe competition,” Suzuki said. Taking this (production) to 2 million is going to be a tough journey.”