“Maruti is definitely becoming more and more important in the Suzuki stable,” the Indian company’s MD Shinzo Nakanishi said. His words come after Maruti sales posted a 14 percent growth in last fiscal while Suzuki sales dropped by 14 percent globally.
Suzuki currently holds 54 percent stake in Maruti Suzuki India Limited and Maruti reported sale of 800,000 units which is highest in last 25 years. This has been the brightest spot for Suzuki in the past year as the whole auto industry was left grappling by falling sales and tight credit availability in the market globally. “All major markets, including the US, Europe and most of Asia along with Japan, were down last year. Maruti’s performance has been much better than these markets,” Mr Nakanishi said.
Suzuki seems quite happy with the present scenario and is planning to set up R&D center in India which will be the biggest outside Japan. “Suzuki will definitely spend on R&D for Maruti, but with a focus on India and neighbouring markets,” Mr Nakanishi said. Moreover, Maruti has already decided to export its own cars irrespective of its parent company’s decision. This will be have double benefits as Maruti will grow out of the clout, it will lend greater autonomy to the company and Suzuki will be able to spend more on the R&D.