Car market leader Maruti Suzuki is aiming to sell initially 60,000 to 70,000 units of its newly launched mid-size premium Sedan Ciaz in the country. The initial plan was to sell about 60,000 to 70,000 units in the country. About 10,000 customers have already made their bookings of which 60 per cent are for diesel cars and 40 per cent for petrol vehicles, Ram Suresh Akella, Commercial Business Head (Southern Region), told reporters in Kochi today.
About nine percent of the sales would be from Kerala, where the vehicle was launched today. Built on a brand new platform, Ciaz is the longest and one of the widest sedan in the class. The company along with its vendors have invested Rs 620 crore towards development of this model. Maruti has recorded a growth of 44.7 per cent in the first half of the fiscal from April to September and was expecting a double digit growth, while the Automobile industry grew by single digit.
During April-August last year Maruti has grown by 15.8 per cent while the industry grew -2.9 per cent. Pointing that Maruti has been focussing on rural markets since the past six years, he said in April-September this fiscal there has been 31 per cent growth in volumes from rural areas. While five years ago, the rural sales was only five per cent, last year the rural market accounted for 32 per cent sales and this year it was 34 per cent, he said.
On the industry performance, Akela said, last year for the first time in 14 years, automobile industry saw a decline in volumes in 2013-14 fiscal, he said, adding, the industry has been on positive growth this year and sentiments have improved. With the gap between petrol and diesel prices declining, the demand for diesel vehicles has seen a dip, he said. In 2012-13, diesel vehicles accounted for 58 per cent sales of industry volumes which dropped to 53 per cent in 2013-14.
In the first half of this fiscal, it has gone down further to 50 per cent. Kerala was the top among its 18 regions, selling one lakh units a year. Market share of Maruti was the highest in Kerala, he said, adding April-August this year, the market share was 53 per cent, a gain of 2.2 per cent over last year. The petrol variant is priced between Rs 7.40 lakh (ex- Cochin showroom) and Rs 9.03 lakh, the diesel version starts from Rs 8.47 lakh to Rs 10.26 lakh.
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