Maruti Suzuki which has earmarked Rs. 1,800 crore for this fiscal, has said that it is likely to notch up 1.4 lakh A-Stars till 31st March, 2010. This is mainly due to the fact that it is targeting more than 70% increase in exports in 2009-10 to over 1.2 lakh cars from 70,000 units in 2008-09. And not surprisingly, its exports would be largely driven by the A-Star, which is also being bought by Nissan on contract basis. Among the overseas markets, Europe will be Maruti’s largest market where it hopes to sell one lakh A-Stars, including around 30,000 cars to Nissan.

“A Star is our prime export product on the back of which we intend to grow our exports,” said Shinzo Nakanishi, managing director, MSIL. “We are targeting 60,000 units of the car to Europe, 10,000 units for non European markets and 30,000 units for Nissan. We also hope to sell 40,000 units of the car in the domestic market, which would take the total production of A Star to 1.4 lakh units per annum.”

Furthermore, India’s largest passenger carmaker will increase its production capacity by two lakh units (in both Gurgaon and Manesar) in the next two financial years from its current capacity of 9 lakh units per year. As of now, Maruti has the capacity to produce 6-lakh cars in Gurgaon, where older models like Maruti 800, Alto, WagonR are made, and 3-lakh cars at the Manesar plant where its globally strategic models Swift, SX4 and the A-Star are made.

Maruti is expanding its K-series line up in which they have 1 litre, 1.2 litre and 1.4 litre petrol engines with the 1 litre is already being used in the A Star while the 1.2 litre will be first seen in Ritz. Maruti is also looking at the possibility of a diesel variant for the mid-sized sedan SX4.