There is a new Maruti around the corner. Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary of Japan's Suzuki Motor, is launching Splash, a compact car, in India soon.
The car is the next generation Wagon-R, the popular tallboy compact. The company has already launched the Splash in the US market, and is expected to launch in India in the coming six to eight months.
Speaking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show, a senior Suzuki official said, "The Splash is our answer to the 'world car' concept. That is the car we would be looking at bringing to India.” The Splash, a four door compact hatchback, was displayed at the motor show.
The world car concept is being pursued by most Japanese manufacturers to create cheap, small cars for emerging markets such as India and China.
The new car would be the natural upgrade from the Alto or the older Wagon-R and is expected to be available in Rs 4 to 6-lakh category, according to Suzuki sources, although the official refused to confirm the price.
Suzuki has a near 60 per cent share of the Indian small car market. With sales in India recently crossing numbers in Japan, the country has become the company's largest market in the world.
Suzuki plans to ramp up production to 900,000 units per year in its tow Indian plants by the end of 2009. Its new assembly line at Manesar in Haryana, which is currently producing the Swift, would assemble the Splash, the official said.
Outgoing MSIL Chairman Jagdish Khattar had announced earlier this year that Suzuki would launch one car every year for the next five years. The Suzuki official, however, refused any comment on that announcement.