Maruti Suzuki, a company which has been selling the maximum number of cars in the country for years, is all set to enter the light commercial vehicle arena. With its new LCV, Maruti will take on the Mahindra and Tata camps who have their LCVs garnering a decent share of the mini pick up truck market. The Maruti Suzuki Carry based LCV will be launched as early as in January 2015 as opposed to the initial plan of launching it by 2017 and the advancement of two years is a pretty big step.
The mini pick up truck has been codenamed the “Maruti Y9T” and will be based on the Suzuki Carry, a pick up truck which is already on sale in South East Asian countries. It will be redesigned in order to suit Indian conditions. The reason why the plans have been hurried is to catch up with the competition before its too late.
The LCV will be available with a choice of two engines: an 800 cc, twin cylinder diesel motor and a 1200 cc- 4 cylinder CNG engine. Maruti Suzuki does not have a diesel motor rolling out of its stable till now and it instead relies on Fiat’s Multijet engines to aid it. The new diesel engine will be the first such motor developed by Maruti and Suzuki.
The diesel engine will come mated to an all new transmission and the work on the same has begun already. The company intends on starting its testing by producing 100 sample units of the LCV in the coming months. The LCV is expected to have a payload of 2 tons which is way better than the competition which includes the likes of Tata Ace, Mahindra Maxximo and the Ashok Leyland Dost.
Industry experts do not expect Maruti Suzuki to sell more than 2,500 units of the LCV each month despite the automaker having the largest dealership network in the country. Maruti Suzuki’s lack of experience in the commercial vehicle segment is said to be the reason behind the experts’ conservative forecast. Knowing the fact that the Gujarat facility of the company has been in headlines for all the wrong reasons, Maruti Suzuki, which initially planned to manufacture the LCV at the Gujarat facility, will be shifting the production of the same to its Gurgaon facility instead.