Maruti Suzuki has completed 3 decades of existence in India. The country’s largest automaker currently manages to sell about 1.2 million cars here, with exports pegged at a little under 100,000 yearly units. Maruti Suzuki has lofty ambitions for the next half a decade, with the automaker targeting yearly vehicle sales of 2 million units within the next five years. In the longer term, Maruti Suzuki wants to raise this number to 3 million vehicles each year, which is nearly triple of what it sells in India currently. To achieve these goals, Maruti Suzuki will adopt a multi-pronged strategy.
Step one includes the launch of cars with multiple fuel options such as petrol, LPG, CNG and Diesel. By offering cars with a range of fuel options to suit varied buyers, Maruti Suzuki plans to capture a larger cross section of the car market.
Step two involves betting on small capacity diesels. Although small capacity diesel engines below 1 liter are almost non-existent in India with manufacturers shying away from deploying such engines on entry level hatchbacks due to fears of high costs, Maruti Suzuki plans to be an outlier and equip its cars with small capacity diesel engines.
The 800 cc-twin cylinder turbo diesel engine used on the Y9T pick up truck is currently being refined for use in Maruti Suzuki’s small car range. Once suitable noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels that match the small car segment’s requirements are achieved with the 800 cc diesel motor, cars such as the WagonR and Celerio will go diesel.
Step three involves entering the commercial vehicle space. Maruti Suzuki will enter the light pick up truck segment next year, with the Y9T code-named mini pick up truck. The light pick up truck segment in India is outpacing the commercial vehicle industry and if Maruti Suzuki can establish a firm foothold in this space, the automaker will be able to increase sales volumes significantly.
Step 4 involves Maruti Suzuki launching into a new product blitz. For an automaker, the key to boosting volumes is by establishing presence in segments that it isn’t present in. Maruti Suzuki’s new crop of products will address segments that are currently not serviced by the brand. For instance, the likes of the S-Cross and XA-Alpha compact SUVs, and the YRA premium B+ hatchback, will mark Maruti Suzuki’s presence in segments that it isn’t currently present in.
Step 5, that will happen concurrently with the other 4 steps, involves bolstering its Research and Development capabilities to support its new product blitz. Maruti Suzuki has earmarked 2,000 crore rupees towards a new Research and Development center at Rohtak, Haryana, which is Suzuki’s first global R&D center outside Japan.