Maruti Suzuki has shifted production of the Baleno from its new factory in Hansalpur, Gujarat, to Manesar in Haryana. This is because the company anticipates huge demand for the all-new Swift, which will now be built at Hansalpur. The Hansalpur factory has a yearly capacity of 2.5 lakh cars, and this should be enough to meet demand for the all-new Swift. Maruti’s senior executive director, RS Kalsi, has already indicated that the new Swift could do much more than 15,000 units/month due to the new variants and features that the 2018 car packs in.
Meanwhile, Kenichi Ayukawa, the CEO and MD of Maruti Suzuki India, confirmed the shift in Baleno production to Manesar with the following statement,
We are focusing the production in Gujarat plant right now and have shifted the production of Baleno to Manesar because demand for Swift will be more and the Gujarat plant has a capacity of 2.5 lakh a year right now. Baleno also has a back-log of 30,000 units right now, so we will have flexibility of producing it at Gujarat too. But, more than 90 per cent of the Baleno production is happening in Manesar right now.
The Baleno is a premium B-Segment hatchback, and a best-seller. It competes with the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Volkswagen Polo GT twins. The Baleno shares its HEARTECT platform and engines with the all-new 2018 Swift, but is a larger car, and with more premium features. In terms of pricing, the Baleno starts from Rs. 5.47 lakhs, and is expected to continue sitting above the new Swift in terms of pricing. Maruti expects younger buyers to go for the Swift, and older ones to opt for the regular variants of the Baleno. Younger buyers, who want a peppier car, also have the option of the Baleno RS, a 101 bhp hot hatch that’s priced at about Rs. 8.5 lakhs.