Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest carmaker,is facing slump in sales due to prevailing high interest rates and fuel prices but the country's largest carmaker is hopeful that sales would pickup in the upcoming festive season.

In order to drive up sales the company  has launched the new model of its popular hatchback Swift. The premium model has both petrol and diesel versions.

The auto major recorded sales of 66,504 units in the domestic market last month, a 26.20 per cent drop from 90,114 units in July 2010.MSI's total passenger car sales dipped 31.04 percent
to 52,483 units in July from 76,111 units in the same month of 2010.The company sees a flat growth in exports this year. The company has already started exports to Indonesia
and hopes to start shipping cars to Thailand soon.

Media reports say that the new Swift will be lighter and more spacious. The Swift is built on an all-new platform that is longer and larger than the older platform, thus resulting in a big car overall. However, the boot space has come down to 205 litres from 232 litres. The petrol version is expected to offer mileage of around 20 km per litre, while the diesel version will offer mileage of 23 km per litre.

 Maruti Suzuki

The previous model of Maruti Swift. Reuters

The ex-showroom price of the petrol version is Rs.4.22 lakh (base model), while the diesel version will start at Rs.5.17 lakh.

Launched in 2005, the company has sold about 6 lakh Swift cars.

Of late, the company has been experiencing a bumpy ride: car sales dropped by a steep 25 percent in July, and company executives warned that sales could grow only in single digits for the year ending March 2012.

Despite the drop in sales, Maruti Suzuki reported an 18 percent rise in net profit fto Rs 549 crore for the quarter ending June.

The company will be hoping the new launch will perk up consumer interest ahead of the festival season starting in September.

Incidentally, the company launched its premium hatchback via a new Facebook page, even before the vehicle was unveiled formally by the company management in a press conference. The page has already amassed 200,000 fans. Now, the company is aiming to win 50,000 pre-launch bookings.

The stock is trading three per cent lower at Rs1,187 per share.

For more details on the car, click here.

The Maruti Swift was launched in 2005 by Maruti Udyog. Engineers from India worked in collaboration with Suzuki engineers to create what is considered the 'first world car'. It was launched first in Europe, a short while before the India launch.

Updated Date: Aug 18, 2011 15:51:02 IST

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