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Maruti raises discounts to drive car sales

India's top car maker, Maruti Udyog Ltd, has raised discounts on many of its models as demand slows amid higher interest rates.

autos Updated: Aug 18, 2007 20:32 IST

India's top car maker, Maruti Udyog Ltd, has raised discounts on many of its models as demand slows amid higher interest rates, newspaper adverts on Saturday showed.

Maruti, majority-owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp, has raised discounts to up to $1,090 and extended the offer to many of its models, including its best-selling Alto and the Esteem sedan, to shore up sales.

Maruti, which has nearly half of India's market for mostly small cars, has said it would be hard to match its record domestic sales of 2006/07 because of slowing demand.

The "Smile India Smile" offer introduced between Aug. 1-15 has been extended until the end of the month. The company has also included a bonus for exchanging old Maruti cars, the adverts showed.

Under the extended offer, discounts and bonuses range from 12,000 to 45,000 rupees ($291-$1,090), up from 7,000-30,000 rupees, according to the adverts.

Other vehicle makers, such as No 2 car maker Tata Motors Ltd, have scaled back production as demand has eased.

Maruti sold 227,578 units in April-July, up 19 per cent from the same period a year earlier.