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Suzuki Motor CEO Osamu Suzuki calls on PM Narendra Modi

Suzuki had earlier met Modi last April, when the latter was the chief minister of Gujarat, where Maruti Suzuki India is setting up a new plant.

Mail Today Bureau | August 1, 2014 | Updated 19:38 IST
Suzuki Motor Corporation Chairman Osamu Suzuki
Suzuki Motor Corporation Chairman Osamu Suzuki (Photo: Reuters)

Japanese auto major Suzuki Motor Corporation's (SMC) chairman and chief executive Osamu Suzuki called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The meeting was described as a courtesy call by the Prime Minister's Office.

Suzuki is in India to attend the Board meeting of SMC's Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), which announced 20.69-per cent increase in net profit to Rs 762.28 crore for the first quarter.

Suzuki had earlier met Modi last April, when the latter was the chief minister of Gujarat, where MSIL is setting up a new plant.

MSIL has run into controversy with institutional investors, who objected to SMC's move to take over the proposed plant. The slowdown in the Indian automobile market had delayed the construction of the plant, which envisages an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.

According to the original plans, the company had plans to roll out 2.5 lakh cars annually by 2015-16 from the Gujarat plant. It is now slated to be completed by early.

The first quarter results have come as a shot in the arm for the company. MSIL is now gearing up to launch a slew of products, including mid-sized sedan Ciaz and a light commercial vehicle (LCV) along with a compact sport utility vehicle (SUV), in the next 12 months to strengthen its leadership in the domestic market.

"We are poised for entering into a strong product launch cycle, including Ciaz and an LCV and refreshes of existing models in the next 12 months from now," MSIL vice-president Rahul Bharti told analysts in a conference call.

The company will also foray into the compact SUV segment, he said without sharing the timeline for the launch of the products.

Driven by robust sales, cost reduction and forex gains, MSIL's net sales during the quarter stood at Rs 11,073.51 crore, up 10.78 per cent, against Rs 9,995.12 crore in the April-June quarter of the last fiscal.

MSIL sold 2,99,894 vehicles during Q1, a growth of 12.6 per cent over the year-ago period. Sales in the domestic market stood at 2,70,643 units, up 10.3 per cent. Exports were at 29,251 units, up 38.7 per cent.

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