Maruti to showcase small 'kei' cars at auto expo | autos | Hindustan Times
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Maruti to showcase small 'kei' cars at auto expo

With an aim to arrest its declining market share, India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki is planning a blitzkrieg of new products that includes possibly mini cars powered by small 660 cc engines that are popular in Japan as "kei" cars and a maiden sports utility vehicle (SUV). Sumant Banerji reports.

autos Updated: Nov 27, 2011 22:17 IST
Sumant Banerji

With an aim to arrest its declining market share, India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki is planning a blitzkrieg of new products that includes possibly mini cars powered by small 660 cc engines that are popular in Japan as "kei" cars and a maiden sports utility vehicle (SUV).

The carmaker, which has suffered a near more than 7% slump in marketshare in this fiscal year so far largely due to its prolonged labour problems at one of its factories that makes the popular Swift hatchback, will showcase two Kei cars - MR Wagon and Palette, in the New Delhi auto expo next year. Both cars are sold by parent firm Suzuki in Japan.

The company has not firmed up concrete plans of a launch in India, but it does not rule out the possibility in future. "Though they are powered by small 660 cc petrol engines, they are not low priced as the Nano," said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer (marketing and sales), Maruti Suzuki India. "We are bringing these cars in the expo to study consumer feedback. For now there are no plans to introduce them in India."

The current generation Estilo is loosely based on the MR Wagon, Palette is a similar vehicle but is taller. Maruti will also showcase an SUV concept that has been designed by its R&D centre in India in conjunction with engineers in Japan.