Snapshot – Maruti Suzuki will line up a slew of refreshed cars over the next 12 months in order to counter rising competition. The facelifted cars will also be aimed at refreshing Maruti Suzuki’s portfolio and attracting more buyers. Maruti Suzuki has faced a slump in Swift and Dzire sales for the first time in over a year and the time seems right for facelifted models to step in and improve sales.
Suzuki sells a facelifted Swift in international markets and a similar car is due for the Indian market. The second generation Swift was launched 3 years ago and a mid life makeover is due for India’s best selling B+ segment hatchback. Mild cosmetic changes and the addition of new features will be what the facelift will revolve around. The Swift will retain its petrol and turbo diesel engines, along with the five speed manual gearbox. In terms of cosmetics, the facelifted Swift is likely to see the addition of LED daytime running lamps, revised alloy wheel design, refreshed front bumper and tweaked front grille. Expect the facelifted Swift to be launched in this year’s festive season.
The Dzire’s facelift will be similar to that of the Swift hatchback’s and with the Hyundai Xcent poised to snag market share from India’s best selling compact sedan, the Dzire needs a nip and tuck job urgently. The following features are likely to be added to the Dzire facelift and these features are expected to feature on the Swift Facelift as well. Cruise control, keyless entry with start-stop button, one touch function for driver side power window, dual tone dashboard and leather wrapped steering wheel are the feature additions likely on both the Dzire and Swift Facelifts. A festive season launch could be on the cards.
Alto 800 Facelift
The Alto 800′ Facelift’s test mules have begun doing the testing rounds in India. Increased competition seems to have spurred Maruti Suzuki into going in for a minor botox job on the Alto 800, which is just about 2 years old in India. India’s best selling car will carry over the 796 cc-3 cylinder F8D petrol engine unchanged. The engine will be available in petrol and CNG-Petrol dual fuel guises. The facelift will aim to freshen up the Alto 800’s front and rear, with the front grille and headlamps taking inspiration by the Celerio. A launch in early 2015 is likely.
Alto K10 Facelift with AMT
The Alto K10’s facelift will look similar to that of the Alto 800’s. However, a crucial change here is mechanical in nature. The Alto K10 will get an automated manual transmission since the car uses the same 1 liter-3 cylinder K-Series engine borrowed from the Celerio. The Alto K10 with AMT in tow will be positioned as a convenient city car that will sit under the Celerio in terms of price and positioning. Along with the Tata Nano AMT, the Alto K10 AMT has all the trappings of becoming one of the least priced automatic cars sold in India. The AMT equipped Alto K10 will be launched in early 2015.
The Honda Mobilio MPV is just months away from launch and the Maruti Ertiga is firmly in the Honda’s competition radar. Since the Mobilio will be sold with petrol and turbo diesel engines, just like the Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki will want to refresh the Ertiga to keep the Mobilio in check. Although Honda isn’t aiming for huge volumes with the Mobilio, a facelift to the Ertiga could be a move to ensure that the MPV retains its sales leadership position in India. Expect subtle tweaks to styling and a feature or two added to the facelifted Ertiga. Mechanically, no changes are expected although the addition of an automatic gearbox option might make sense if Honda does the same with the Mobilio. The tweaked Ertiga could be launched later this year.