Maruti Suzuki is the leading passenger car maker in India; however the recent labour problems at its plant, along with rising competition in the market, have forced the company to rethink their strategy.
According to reports, the company’s managing executive officer of engineering, I. V. Rao, was quoted as saying that their engineers have been working on a full model independent, change capability, something that has not been attempted before.
While Rao did not give the pricing details of this vehicle, he said that they are trying to create a car, which would be positioned along side the Alto, which is the most selling car of the company, having monthly volumes of more than 30,000 units.
Maruti discontinued productions of their fabled Maruti 800, and Rao rejected claims that the new car they were working on is the M800’s revised variant, or a fresh attempt by the company for reviving the M800, that has so far been discontinued in 13 top metros following stricter norms of emission. In the following years, the M800 will be gradually phased out of the remaining regions in India.
This new move of the company is reportedly for countering the Hyundai’s onslaught on their most selling brand. Hyundai is reportedly developing an 800cc car that will compete with the Alto. However, the new car from Maruti is expected to be priced a bit higher than even the Alto.
He further stated that even though this car is based on existing platform, it is still a new car. Their idea is for the car to be an in-house model taking as less support as possible from their Japanese parent company Suzuki. Their engineers have been carrying out some facelifts on existing models as well as assisting Suzuki in developing cars for global markets like the A-Star and Swift.
Rao added that the new car is expected to be primarily for the Indian auto market, and the idea behind this model was constantly bringing new cars into the market, while developing the R&D capability of the company for engineering, designing and developing a model on their own.