Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

Maruti Swift is one of the most popular cars in India. Maruti recently launched its third generation model and it is another best-seller in making. What are the little-known facts about the Maruti Suzuki Swift? Let’s find out below.

Invented by GM owned by Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

The first generation of the Swift was known as M-car and it was being developed by GM. The American company projected that it will not be a profitable project and sold the unfinished project to Suzuki for 5% stake in the company. Suzuki later completed the design and development of the vehicle launched the car in the Japanese market.

35 years old Swift came to India only 13 years ago

The first generation of the vehicle was launched in October 1983 in Japan but came to India in 2005. Technically, the Maruti 1000 is also rebadged Cultus and it arrived in 1990 in India, almost 15 years before the Swift hatchback came.

Suzuki started exporting the first generation of the vehicle worldwide soon after its Japanese launch and it was sold under the GM brand names in many countries. The car was rebadged under Chevrolet, Holden, Pontiac and even Isuzu brand name.

Also known as Ignis..yes!

The first generation of Suzuki Swift was also sold as Ignis in the European market. Suzuki renamed the vehicle as per the demographics. In USA and Canda, it was known as Aerio and in Pakistan, it was known as Celerio. The Japanese domestic market called this vehicle Cultus Crescent.

Remeber Esteem? It was sold as Swift

Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

Manufacturers use a lot of names as per they see fit. The car that was sold as Esteem in India was rebadged by Chevrolet and was sold as Swift in many countries. Even Suzuki rebadged it as Swift and sold in many international markets.

Among top 5 selling car in India since a decade

Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

Maruti Suzuki has sold more than 1.8 million Swifts in India since 2005. When it was launched in 2005, there were only 3 competitors. After 13 years, there are as many as 10 competitors as per Maruti data and the Swift remain fixed to the top-selling spot.

Inspired by Hayabusa

Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

The instrument cluster of the Maruti Swift was inspired from the Suzuki Hayabusa’s console. The 6’O clock position of the tachometer, the font and the layout were very similar to the Suzuki’s flagship motorcycle. It is not the case with the all-new Swift as it gets an LCD screen between the dials.

Also had an electric vehicle version

Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

Suzuki showcased several hybrid and electric concept models of the Swift. One prominent model was showcased at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show which was later modified and showcased again in 2011 Tokyo show. The car was an EV hybrid that was equipped with a 660cc petrol engine. There was 54 kW electric motor and the petrol engine kicked in to charge the battery whenever the charge became too low. Sadly, it never became a production car.

Sells in over 140 countries

The Suzuki Swift currently sells in over 140 countries in the world. It is made in 7 seven countries including India. It is one of the most widely sold cars in the world. India is Swift’s strongest market. It sold over 5 billion cars around the world out of which India has 1.8 billion copies of the vehicle.

Indian market needed diesel power to get going

The arrival of Swift did not create visible ripples in the market and the response was quite lukewarm from the market. In 2007, two years after the initial launch, Maruti introduced the diesel engine. The Fiat-sourced diesel engine multiplied the sales of the vehicle and it gained popularity quite quickly.

Indian Swift has more space

Maruti Suzuki Swift: 10 things you don’t about

When Swift first arrived in India, a team of 25 engineers from Maruti worked on it extensively. The Indian spec car is more spacious than the global versions. The lack of curtain airbags in the India-spec model allowed engineers to scoop out more headroom. The seat and the cushions were redesigned to make them more spacious. The front seat travel

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)