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Auto industry hits on a confident note

Rajiv Kumar and Sanjiv Sawhney of TR Sawhney Motors in a conversation with Mrinalini Sharma talk about the new models and their achievements.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 15:02 IST
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With disposable income on the rise, availability of superior technology and stiff competition in the auto sector, the automobile industry is on an upswing. Given this fact, it comes as no surprise that Maruti Suzuki is the leader in the Indian automobile industry. Auto Expo is one such platform where the company will showcase its new models.

Q: What is special in Auto Expo this time as far as Maruti Suzuki is concerned?

Auto Expo will be showcasing the new models of the company, including the Formula Suzuki Hayabusa and the Rally Baleno. The Maruti pavilion will also display the international rally version of the Swift, showcasing Maruti and Suzuki's motor sport capabilities. The Swift is Suzuki Motor Corporation's international rally car, and has won many accolades at the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) last year. While the Formula Suzuki Hayabusa is the top-of-the-category track racing car model in Suzuki's range,the car has been a leading player in motor sport activity in Japan and in the rest of Asia in the past few years.

Maruti is importing both the vehicles from Japan to showcase them to Indian audiences as part of the company's high-profile participation in the Auto Expo. Maruti, widely acknowledged for developing motor sport in India, is showcasing this aspect through various vehicles that have participated in national and international motor sport events.

The company, which organises India's flagship motor sport event, Raid De Himalaya and other popular events like Rally Desert Storm and Autocross, is using this exhibition to demonstrate its contribution to motor sport.

A major crowd puller will be the rally version of the Baleno, fresh from its participation in the Indian National Rally Championship (INRC).

This vehicle, while retaining the engine and gear box of a normal Baleno, is equipped with interesting additional features to build strength for the Rally circuit. Baleno, which first entered the Rally circuit in India in 2001, swept all the podium positions at the INRC in 2004.

The single-seater Formula Hayabusa racing car is powered by a 1299 cc petrol engine that belts out a maximum output of 173 bhp.

Maruti is also using the Expo to convey its recently acquired strength in design and styling. Nearly 25 Indian design engineers from Maruti had worked with their Japanese counterparts in Suzuki to design and style the Swift, a first for a car company in India. A special enclosure at the Maruti pavilion will encourage visitors to freely design their own car on a computer, using a unique software.

Q: Any other highlight of the Maruti pavilion?

Yes, a highlight of the Maruti pavilion will be the one-stop shop, which will showcase Maruti's various service businesses like finance, insurance, True Value second hand cars, accessories and so on. The one-stop shop will give a feel of the 360 degree experience that Maruti is able to provide to the customers, from learning to driving a car.

Q: Last year you visited Japan. What was the occasion?

The event was presentation of Samurai Cap, a prestigious award. In all there were 27 Maruti dealers from all over the country who were selected for this. From Delhi there were three, out of which one happened to be TR Sawhney Motors.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 15:02 IST