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Maruti Suzuki begins Baleno shipments to Japan; launch slated for March

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has dispatched the first shipment of its premium hatchback Baleno to Japan where it will be launched next month.

It is for the first time that a model manufactured by Maruti Suzuki is being exported to Japan where its parent Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) is based.

"I am convinced that the Baleno will be the success story of 'Make in India', and the significance of Maruti Suzuki as the global production base will further expand," said Suzuki Motor Corporation President and COO T Suzuki, who was here to take part in the Auto Expo.

The first consignment comprised 1,800 units and was shipped from Mundra Port in Gujarat, where SMC is setting up a manufacturing plant to supply cars to its Indian arm.

Maruti also plans to export the Baleno to over 100 global markets. The company and its supplier partners have invested Rs 1,060 crore in the development of Baleno, which is being manufactured at the company's Manesar plant.

Recently, around 200 dealers from Japan visited the Manesar plant to closely look at the manufacturing process of the product.

In the domestic market, the car has been well accepted and currently the company has over 80,000 bookings for the model.

It competes with the likes of Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo and is sold through the company's new premium network of showrooms, Nexa.