Suzuki Motor Corporation’s Indian subsidiary, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), is going to play an increasingly important role in designing and developing global vehicles for the Japanese auto company in the coming years.
MSIL, which on Thursday unveiled a compact sport utility vehicle, XA Alpha, is likely to roll out two to three global products in collaboration with its parent company over the next two years.
A senior MSIL executive said, “Our research and development (R&D) team is increasingly collaborating in developing products with Suzuki, which would be sold not only in India but also in markets overseas.” The multi-purpose Ertiga, to be launched globally at the Auto Expo, is one such product.
Maruti Suzuki has 1,080 engineers at its R&D centre. It has acquired 700 acres in Rohtak and is setting up, what is says is a world-class R&D centre.
It’ll begin exporting a completely knocked down (CKD) kits to Southeast Asian markets with the Ertiga. The Ertiga comes equipped with 1.4-litre petrol engine and 1.3-litre diesel engine. The sub-four metre Swift Dzire, to be launched next month, will follow Ertiga abroad.
Suzuki is focusing on boosting exports volume in emerging markets such as Indonesia. Unlike in India, a fully imported car attracts a duty of 26 per cent in Indonesia, while CKD units are taxed at just 10 per cent.
The CKD route works out as much more viable for car makers aiming to sell in Indonesia, rather than setting up a plant there. Going ahead, Suzuki Motor Corporation plans to export more cars under the Suzuki badge from India.
Maruti Suzuki reported a drop of 16.6 per cent in sales at 773,361 units between April and December. It is expected to export 125,000 vehicles this financial year, compared to the 147,000 units sold abroad last year. Maruti Suzuki is developing newer markets for exports to offset the slowdown in car sales in Europe.