KOCHI: Maruti Suzuki is looking at rural areas and small towns to build more volumes for its latest launch the new Alto 800.
This fiscal, Maruti plans to touch 25 percent growth in the rural market, Ram Suresh Akella, General Manager, Commercial Business Head (South) told reporters here.
Small towns and niche segments like turmeric farmers in Tiruchengode in Tamil Nadu, spices farmers in Kerala and apple growers in Himachal Pradesh are being targetted to achieve this growth, he said.
"We are concurrently taking steps to enhance our presence in smaller towns by opening new exetension outlets," he said.
There are over 500 extension outlets out of a total 11,000 sale points.
Alto has been the company's bestseller and top model in the world in terms of single design. This year Swift overtook it to some extent, he said.
When pointed out that demand for luxury cars is rising, he said 25,000 Alto cars were sold in a month last year. "There is good demand for it even now. It is the best entry level car and is fuel efficient. There is definite demand for it."
He said there is a definite increase in demand for diesel model. In the last three years, demand for diesel cars in the Indian market was 36 per cent, which went up to 47 percent in 2011-12, touching 58 per cent this year.
Maruti sold 1.2 million units (all inclusive) in 2010-11. In diesel, Maruti's capacity is 400,000 cars per annum.
Maruti is adding capacity to diesel. Last fiscal, it made 300,000 units of diesel engines. Now, the car marker is in the process of setting up a diesel engine plant in Gurgaon at an investment of Rs 1700 crore.
Phase I would have a capacity of 150,000 units which would be ready by next year and by 2014, another 150,000 units capacity would be added by when the capacity of diesel engines would touch 700,000, he said.
In Kerala, Maruti sells 8000 cars a month of which Alto accounts for 30-35 percent of total sales. In Kerala, Maruti enjoys 58 percent market share, the highest across any other state.
Maruti plans to export the new Alto to Latin America and African countries by December-January.