On 28 February, Indian car market leader Maruti Suzuki India Limited, a Suzuki subsidiary in India, announced that it has crossed the half a million mark i.e. 500,000 units of cumulative exports.
As the ship liner, "Goliath Leader" left Mumbai port on 28 February, carrying 1180 Maruti cars to various Latin American countries, Maruti Suzuki became the first carmaker in India to cross the 500,000 units of export.
While Maruti Suzuki cars ply in all five continents, Europe has been a popular destination accounting for 56 percent of the company's cumulative exports. Netherlands with 67,700 units followed by Italy (over 41,000) and UK (over 34,000) have been the biggest European buyers. Germany and Hungary too are among the countries that have imported over 20,000 Maruti Suzuki cars.
Amongst the non-European markets, Algeria is the biggest buyer with over 42,000 units, followed by Chile, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Just as in the Indian market, the Maruti 800, with 178,000 units, has been the most popular Maruti car overseas. Alto follows closely with 152,000 units. "Zen", India first world car that was exported to Europe as early as 1994, was well received selling over 130,000 units cumulatively.
In the light of Maruti Suzuki's growing role in Global Suzuki, the company has set up a state of art assembly plant at Manesar with an initial capacity of 100,000 units. The Manesar plant production capacity is planned to be increased to 300,000 units in the next two years.
Maruti Suzuki will manufacture Suzuki's fifth World Strategic Model, A-Star, for export. The production model will be based on the Concept A-Star, unveiled at the recent Auto Expo in Delhi. The company plans to export 100,000 units annually of this new model, to Europe and other parts of the world.
Earlier in February, Maruti Suzuki tied up with Mundra port for development of dedicated port facilities for export shipments of cars through Pure Car Carriers. The new facility is expected to be operational by December 2008. Maruti Suzuki plans its first export shipment from the new port facilities in January 2009.