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Maruti Suzuki To Focus On Larger Cars To Get A Larger Share Of The Indian Market

Published: September 3, 2012 | 7:50 am
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Maruti Suzuki, the biggest Indian car maker by sales, stimulated by the success of its first multi-utility vehicle, the Ertiga, is planning on intensifying its efforts by focusing on larger utility vehicles, as well as sedans in order to maintain its lead in the highly competitive Indian auto market. In 2013 the company wishes to gift its mid-size sedan SX4 with a facelift (internal code name is YL1).In the longer run, there are two to three utility vehicles planed, the Grand Vitara, an SX4 crossover utility vehicle and a compact SUV based on the XA Alpha concept; we can expect them in the following two or three years.

There are some rumors that in 2014 the compact premium SUV Grand Vitara will be produced locally, with the Indian press claiming that that idea is supported by inside information. Also, as previously mentioned, the development of another compact SUV will begin starting from 201; the basis for that is the XA Alpha concept car which was showcased earlier this year at the New Delhi Auto Expo.

An insider told The Economic Times of India: “There is greater confidence in the Indian unit’s development capabilities. The R&D centre, led by IV Rao, has managed to come out with variants without much support from Japan. XA Alpha will be the first product out of the full-fledged R&D centre at Manesar.”

If all of that is true and he Grand Vitara will indeed be assembled in India, then it will be the rival of cars like the M&M’s XUV 500 or Skoda’s Yeti. Furthermore, when the XA Alpha-based compact will hit the markets, Ford’s Ecosport or Renault’s Duster will be seeing some serious competition.

On another note, Maruti Suzuki is also implicated in the production of a crossover utility vehicle inspired by the SX4 platform. Maruti Suzuki India Limited, or MSIL, was a company formerly known as Maruti Udyog Limited and is a subsidiary of the Japanese Suzuki Motor Corporation.

This company has been the leader of the Indian auto market for the last two and a half decades. Presently, it has two manufacturing facilities based in Gurgaon and Manesar, which are found south of New Delhi. As of the 31st March, 2012, Maruti Suzuki has over 9000 people working at its facilities. Also, Maruti Suzuki’s sales network, as well as service, is the largest of all car builders found in India.

Over the last 12 months, the company has witnessed its market share go down by approx 5 percent to about 38 percent. This fact was generated especially by the rising competition as well as a series of labor strikes at its plant in Manesar; that meant substantial losses concerning production and revenue.

Just last month, a closure at the same plant incurred on Maruti a production loss of over 30,000 cars.
However, that was compensated by the launch of the Ertiga, thanks to which the share of utility vehicles in global sales went up to about 7 percent in the first quarter of the fiscal year compared by the meager 1 percent registered in the same period during the previous year.


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