Suzuki Motor Corp, the Japanese automaker, had planned to launch 20 new cars by 2020 – most of which were scheduled to come to India – Grand Vitara Brezza and Baleno were two of them.
But for those launches, Suzuki, the Indian subsidiary, will have to make changes to each and every model that the company brings to India, even to its small cars.
“All the models will have to be modified for the Indian market. So the Indian cars have to be designed as per Indian laws,” said RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, the Indian subsidiary.
Suzuki has 11 new models of minicars and A-segment hatchbacks lined up for launches – but all of them for the Japanese markets. Bhargava said Japan’s minicars are small, adding, “They are very powerful, they have turbo-charged engines, they are costly high performance cars.”
The Indian customer, on the other hand, doesn’t want smaller cars – they want more space, a lot of features, but at a lower price point.
Then there are different government regulations, specific to India. Localising the cars will also be important as Maruti has 45% market share, and is the largest market for Suzuki. “The volumes of sales for each of the models will be higher than the total volume of sales for the models elsewhere,” said Bhargava.
He also said the Ciaz sedan will have to be replaced by a new Ciaz or something else. Suzuki has three C-segment cars planned, but that segment is small in India. “As volume grows in the next three-four years, surely there will be changes, but I don’t see three cars in the space,” Bhargava said.