Maruti Suzuki expects September vehicle sales to rise an annual 32% to 33%, bolstered by robust domestic demand, according to its chairman.

R C Bhargava told Reuters September sales would be higher than in August, when they rose 24% year on year to a monthly record.

Maruti's share of the Indian car market at the end of August was 51.8%, he said, down from 53.2% in the previous fiscal year and 55.1% in 2008/09.

"We are not focused fundamentally on retaining market share. It's not a worry because we know we have capacity constraints, we have a waiting list," Bhargava said. He added Nissan Motor would buy under 30,000 cars this fiscal year from Maruti, compared with 51,072 cars last fiscal year, primarily due to a decline in European demand. Maruti has a contract with Nissan to make and export the Pixo - a variant of the A-star/Alto hatchback - to Europe.

Bhargava said the company, 54.2% owned by Suzuki Motor, expects to sell 1.2m vehicles in the current fiscal year to 31 March 2011 from 1.02m the previous year.

"Clearly, the market continues to hold firm. There is no softening," Bhargava said. "We are now looking fairly optimistically at the rest of the year."

From October, Maruti will increase its annual car capacity to 1.3m units from 1.2 now, he said.

Maruti plans to spend US$1.3bn over the next three years on manufacturing plants to boost capacity, it said earlier this month.

The company would build its fourth car plant in India, boosting its output to 1.5m units a year. The new factory would start operations in 2013, with annual output of 250,000 cars.