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Maruti cuts sales growth forecast

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India said that it is expecting single digit eight per cent growth in sales in 2018-19, with pick-up in volumes in the last quarter.

Maruti Suzuki chairman R.C. Bhargava said that historically sales have been lower in a pre-election year and picking up substantially again in the election year.The company is looking to launch a new model soon which it also expects will help to boost sales.

Bhargava said in preparation for transition to BS-VI emission norms, Maruti will stop production of majority of its BS-IV models by December 2019. “In the last five months after the first quarter, sales have been flat for Maruti while the industry saw negative growth,” he said.

Bhargava was hopeful that the sales will pick up in fourth quarter which will reduce inventory and also push up wholesale volume.

In the first half of the fiscal, the company had posted sales growth of 10.5 per cent, whereas it was flat in the third quarter. “So, we are looking at a growth of around 8 per cent for the ongoing fiscal,” he said. Mr Bharg-ava said

Maruti’s sales growth has also been partly affected this year due to the absence of a new model launch.

Bhargava was in favour of ramp-up CNG infrastructure to deal with the problem of pollution as this strategy has worked in the country.

“CNG vehicle sales have grown by 50 per cent this year,” he said.

He pointed out that imposing cess on conventional vehicles to promote electric cars will not serve the purpose as only the rich would end up receiving subsidies.

There are reports that government is looking to impose cess on conventional vehicles to promote clean energy vehicles.