Indian car maker Maruti sees quarterly profit jump 93 pct

NEW DELHI, October 24, 2009 (AFP) – India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki reported Saturday that its quarterly net profit had soared 93 percent year-on-year, amid signs pointing to a reviving domestic economy. Maruti, majority owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp, reported net profit of 5.7 billion rupees (123 million dollars) in the second financial quarter to September 30, broadly in line with market expectations.

Net sales jumped 47 percent to 70.5 billion rupees.

The car manufacturer attributed the profit increase partly to government stimulus measures aimed at boosting a slowing economy that have put more money into the hands of India’s increasingly affluent middle class.

“Demand has been driven by government stimulus,” Maruti Suzuki India Ltd said in a statement issued in New Delhi.

It also attributed the rise in sales to aggressive monetary easing by India’s central bank to help shield the economy from the impact of the global financial crisis that has made consumer loan costs cheaper.

Nearly four-fifths of cars in India are purchased using loans.

In recent months India’s carmakers have seen demand for vehicles pick up on lower interest rates and stimulus packages