India’s Maruti Suzuki reaffirms production goals; names new CFO

By Kashish Tandon and Manvi Pant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Maruti Suzuki India on Tuesday reiterated plans to double its production capacity to 4 million cars that would need an investment of at least 450 billion rupees ($5.4 billion) in the next eight years.

The cost of doubling the production capacity might exceed depending on inflation, Chairman R.C. Bhargava said at the company’s annual general meeting.

Bhargava added he will take up stock split talks with the board as sought by some investors.

India’s top automaker by sales also expects export volumes to grow to 800,000 cars by fiscal 2031. As of fiscal 2023, it exported 259,333 cars.

Additionally, the company named Schneider Electric executive Arnab Roy as chief financial officer, effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Roy will replace Ajay Seth, who is retiring on Dec. 31 after serving as the CFO since 2005. Seth will remain a member of the executive board.

Most recently, Roy served as the zone CFO for Schneider’s India businesses, which focuses on making and servicing tech products used for electricity distribution.

“This event of change in the CFO is not going to impact the company. The transition is going to be smooth. We see this as a neutral or no-event for the stock,” said Amit Hiranandani, the automobile sector lead analyst at brokerage firm SMIFS Ltd.

Maruti in July reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on strong orders and forecast a rise in average selling prices in subsequent quarters.

Earlier this month, the automaker said it would buy its Japanese parent Suzuki Motor’s plant in Gujarat.

It plans to roll out six electric vehicles by 2030, each of which will be produced at the Gujarat plant.

India is working on an EV policy that would cut import taxes for automakers that commit to some local manufacturing.

Maruti’s shares closed up 0.3%.

($1 = 82.6907 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K and Sohini Goswami)