Maruti Suzuki India Ltd on Wednesday showcased the Ciaz, the concept of a luxury sedan, and unveiled a production-ready crossover vehicle SX4 S-Cross, on the opening day of the 12th Auto Expo in Greater Noida.

Suzuki Motor Corp, Maruti’s Japanese parent, has designed the Ciaz for markets such as India and China, and if it goes into production in India, will be Maruti Suzuki’s second shot at the luxury sedan market.

It earlier sold the Kizashi in the executive segment.

The Ciaz is a notch higher than the Kizashi. The company says the Ciaz is a fusion of sportiness and elegance, and is expected to strengthen its portfolio in the upper A3 segment.

The global model SX4 S-Cross reflects Maruti Suzuki’s readiness to get into new segments and strengthen its product portfolio.

It will wait for customer feedback before deciding whether to make it in India or not. The SX4 S-Cross comes with a 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engine.

Addressing the media on the occasion, Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki, said the company would continue its focus on the rural market, which now accounted for more than a fourth of total sales. It had only touched 100,000 of the nearly 600,000 villages in the country and, hence, saw a huge opportunity to increase sales.

Maruti Suzuki’s R&D facility at Rohtak, Haryana, was getting ready and would be fully operational by 2016.

Later, Ayukawa told Business Line the company would be able to produce the Ciaz in less than two years if the customer feedback was positive.

Asked about the concept of the compact SUV that the carmaker showcased at the last auto expo, Ayukawa said the company would shortly announce a decision.

(This article was published on February 5, 2014)
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