As for the Baleno, sources indicate that a capacity of 12,000 units a month has already been achieved. The company, on its part, said: “We are doing internal production adjustments between models to enhance Baleno output. Can’t give you a number by how much we will be able to ramp up further.”
The Gujarat facility thus assumes greater significance in terms of Maruti’s long term as well as immediate plans. It is expected to start trial production from the January quarter. “The Gujarat facility will give us additional capacity fourth quarter onwards. Baleno will be the first model to be manufactured there, so we are confident it will help up ramp up overall capacity for Baleno,” the spokesperson added.The initial capacity of the first assembly line at Hansalpur will be 1,50,000 units, which will be eventually scaled up to 2,50,000 units yearly. The total capacity at the site would be 7,50,000 cars per annum. Maruti’s Gujarat plant is being set up by a subsidiary of SMC, Suzuki Motor Gujarat, that will supply vehicles exclusively to Maruti Suzuki India.
The company also has a second site near Hansalpur, at Vithlapur, where the company plans to set up production facilities, once it exhausts the capacity at the first site. Total installed capacity in Gujarat will be 1.5 million units per annum, a figure that is equal to its current installed capacity in the country, combining plants at Gurgaon and Manesar.Long wait periods can deter customers to opt for other car models, and hence it is critical for Maruti to do away with capacity constraints. The company, however, noted: “In both the models, Brezza and Baleno, customers are aware and conscious of the waitlist when they are booking. Still bookings are exceeding expectations. Therefore, even if we ramp up production, bookings outpace demand and results are not visible.”
Maruti has plans to sell 2 million units by 2020, by when the local passenger car market is estimated to be about 5 million cars in annual sales. As such, 2.02 million cars were sold in India in 2015-16, a growth of 7.8%, and around 2.78 million passenger vehicles (cars, vans and utility vehicles) were sold last fiscal. Maruti’s sales had grown by 11.5%, selling 1.3 million units between April 2015 and March 2016.The central government’s Auto Mission Plan II forecasts that the passenger vehicle market in India will more than triple to 9.4 million by 2026 from the current 2.78 million units, provided the economy grows at an average 5.8% a year.