Maruti raises Alto export target to 24,000

Thursday, 26 September 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's largest carmaker Maruti Udyog has enhanced its target for exports of the Alto model to 24,000 during fiscal 2002-03 following the enthusiastic response to the model in European markets.

Since its launch at the Geneva Motor show in March, the Alto "has been creating waves in western Europe, the most competitive market for compact cars," the company said in a statement Thursday.

"The Alto has been able to create a special position for itself among small cars in Europe and has received rave reviews in leading automobile magazines and Web sites in the Netherlands, Greece, Germany and Switzerland.

"Alto's superb fuel economy entitles its customers to a 1,000 euro refund from the government of the Netherlands," the statement pointed out.

Based on initial discussions with distributors, the company said it had planned to export 14,000 Alto's in the current fiscal. Its popularity swelled with its introduction in Austria, Britain, Finland, Greece, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands and the company decided to up the export target.

More European markets are likely to be added to the list by the end of year, the statement said.

"Powered by the success of the Alto in Europe, Maruti is set to increase its exports by 150 per cent this year. The company expects to export over 31,000 vehicles during 2002-03 compared to 12,232 vehicles in the previous year," the company said.

The Alto's "tremendous success in the export market further conforms that it is truly a global car," the statement said.

The company has also achieved a major landmark with its cumulative export sales crossing 250,000, far more than any Indian carmaker. Over 70 percent of these vehicles have been exported to Europe.

Maruti was the largest exporter of completely built cars in the country during 2001-02, both in terms of volumes and value, the statement said.

The company has an international presence that spans over 70 countries. Its products, including the Maruti 800, Omni, Zen, Alto and Gypsy were exported to nearly 40 countries last fiscal. Cumulative exports of the Zen crossed 100,000 units in December 2001.

The Alto has been extremely popular in the domestic market too, with over 60,000 units plying on Indian roads. It is currently available in four variants - Alto LX, Alto LXi (with electronic power steering), Alto VX 1.1 and Alto VXi 1.1 (with electronic power steering).

Source: IANS
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