Sudha Menon

Gearing up


Maruti Udyog

has decided to launch Swift diesel by November 2006 and a replacement for Baleno by end of 2007

Pune, July 5

The country's largest car manufacturer, Maruti Udyog, is gearing up for a fresh onslaught on the domestic car market with plans now firmed up to launch a diesel version of its popular Swift model by November this year and a replacement for Baleno, its premium sedan by the end of 2007.

The company is also working on a three-box version of the Swift, which it wants to roll out into the market by the middle of next year, reliable sources told

Business Line

.

Development work

According to sources, the company is also in the middle of development work for two all new platforms, code named model P and N which will be ready two years from now, adding to its arsenal to retain the top slot. The company is hoping on combined volumes of 2,50,000 for the two proposed models, including exports.

Sources said the Swift diesel, meanwhile, would roll out in November this year with a 1.3 JTD engine from Fiat which it will manufacture under license from the latter.

"Suzuki has bought the world-class technology for diesel engine from Fiat and Adam Opel, UK. Suzuki has chosen Maruti India, for the manufacture of the diesel engines... We have announced that we will come out with a compact car using this diesel engine by the end of the year," a Maruti spokesperson told this newspaper. The Baleno replacement will, meanwhile, straddle the existing Baleno and Esteem model with the company now believed to be working on a car that will pull in the volumes with aggressive pricing.

Related Stories:
Maruti sells 61,000 Swifts in first year
Maruti to increase Swift production

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2006)
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