Country's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India will make a capital investment of about Rs 3,500 crore this fiscal as it gears up to strengthen its market leadership. The company, which accounts for nearly 40 per cent of volumes of parent Suzuki Motor Corp, said it will now be responsible for the export markets of Africa, the Middle East and neighbouring countries of the group and would consider setting up plant overseas.
"The capital investment proposed this year is approximately Rs 3,500 crore. And this will only increase as we go ahead," Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava said.
Addressing shareholders in the company's annual report for 2012-13, he said, the company was continuing with all its planned investments to increase production capacity and introduce new products from time to time. "Work on the Gujarat site has commenced and we expect to start production by the end of 2015-16. The Manesar 3rd line will be commissioned soon, as also Phase I of the diesel engine line in Gurgaon," Bhargava said. Stating that the company's R&D centre continues to develop, he further said: "We are also investing in strengthening our sales and service facilities all over the country."
Commenting on the export strategy, Bhargava said: "Suzuki Japan has decided that India will now be responsible for the export markets of Africa, the Middle East and our neighbouring countries. "MSI will have to ensure adequate sales and marketing arrangements in these countries with the help of Japan, he added.
"We also have to determine the products to be manufactured for these markets and, if necessary, establish assembly plants overseas. This decision will greatly help the growth of our exports," he said.
On the market conditions, Bhargava said despite being an election year when traditionally the governments in power are reluctant to introduce unpopular measures, he is hopeful that several reforms which the UPA government is promising, such as implementation of large infrastructure projects, to revive sentiments.
"If all these happen, I believe there will be a change in sentiment, and car buying may again pick up. The festive season is also not far away. We are hoping that with steps undertaken by the government, and our own efforts, we will lead a resurgence in the automobile industry," he said. Maruti Suzuki India is also continuing with the