India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd is showcasing three concept cars at the ninth Auto Expo 2008 in the Capital. These include the Concept A-Star, Concept Splash and Concept Kizashi. The production models based on the first two would be launched within the next two years and would contribute to the company’s goal of achieving a million unit sales by 2010.
Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director of Maruti Suzuki India Limited, said, “The Maruti
Suzuki pavilion showcases our way forward as we consolidate our leadership in India. We will launch more world strategic models, step up our R&D, boost exports to Europe and the rest of the world, offer next generation engine technology and invest in facilities for manufacturing, marketing and brand building. I believe Maruti Suzuki is ready to play a major role in Suzuki’s global operations, and we will pursue our goals as a socially responsible corporate with the support of our excellent people.”
The Concept A-Star has been jointly designed and developed by Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki Motor Corporation. It is the first concept car whereby designers from Maruti Suzuki’s R&D team have been involved. The Concept A-Star demonstrates that environmental compatibility and safety can be delivered with no sacrifice in style and performance. The dynamic body contours of the car communicate Suzuki Sports’ DNA, while the boldly flared fenders and extra-large wheels hint at strong dynamic capabilities.
The design of the Concept A-Star has a predominantly European character while incorporating Indian accents that emphasise the car’s identity as Suzuki’s first Japanese-Indian concept vehicle. The Concept A-Star comes with a chassis that enables lively handling, and a high efficiency 1.0 litre engine for outstanding fuel economy.
Maruti Suzuki will manufacture and launch the production model based on the Concept A- Star at Maruti Suzuki India’s Manesar plant, and will be sold mainly in Europe, as also in India and other countries. Production is due to commence from October 2008, while full-scale production for Europe is due to start in December 2008 and will be followed by expansion for other markets around the world.
The forthcoming production model will be an A2-segment five-door hatchback reflecting a focus on world-class environmental compatibility and comfort. It will have a newly developed Euro 5-compliant 1.0-litre aluminum petrol engine with CO2 emissions lower than those of European competitors, with a target of lower than 109g/km.
The new engine will be produced by Maruti Suzuki India, and a manual transmission for it will be manufactured by Suzuki Powertrain India, a subsidiary of Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC).
As for Concept Splash, Suzuki plans to make it available for sale in Europe in spring 2008, and hopes to reach Europe-wide sales of about 60,000 units per year. It will be produced in Hungary by Magyar Suzuki. It will be manufactured and launched in India at some point in future.
With Concept Kizashi, SMC has announced its entry into the D-segment. It also marks the onset of the next phase of the world strategic model strategy. This phase revolves around the theme ‘Status’.
SMC is investing ¥200 billion in Indian plants for a period 2007-09. The investment includes capital expenditure for production of the new world strategic model. Also, it plans to expand Maruti Suzuki India’s production capacity to 960,000 units per year by March 2010 in line with growing demand in India and a vision of exporting the new world strategic model from India to markets around the globe.