Betting big on the entry-level segment, Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday said it will continue to "re-energise" the small car segment as the automaker expects the vertical to revive over the next few years, according to MD & CEO Hisashi Takeuchi.

Speaking at the launch of the new generation Swift here, he noted that the automaker aims to cater to the diverse needs of customers as it aims to sell 40 lakh units by 2030-31.

Takeuchi noted that the entry-level segment continues to be a high-volume vertical accounting for around 28 per cent of the overall domestic passenger vehicle sales.

"For us to maintain our leadership position, it is important to cater to diverse customer segments. The hatchback segment in India continues to be a high-volume segment, accounting for approximately 28 per cent of total passenger vehicle sales," Takeuchi said.

Interestingly, the premium hatchback segment contributes nearly 60 per cent of total hatchback sales, he noted.

"As a market leader, we took the responsibility to re-energise the hatchback segment at a time when this segment really needs a catalyst for growth," Takeuchi said.

He noted that the company has a strong belief in India's growth story.

"As the government aims to make India a developed country by 2047, we can expect increased economic activity and robust demand for automobiles in the coming years" Takeuchi stated.

With only 32 vehicles per 1,000 people compared to over 600 in developed countries like Japan, India presents a vast pool of car aspirants, he said.

"As car ownership rises, the hatchback segment will serve as an entry point for many customers, and thus shall expand," Takeuchi noted.

Therefore, the hatchback segment will continue to remain relevant for India, and the company's focus on this segment will persist, he added.

The auto major expects the premium hatchback segment to grow to 10 lakh units per annum by 2030 from 7 lakh units currently.

The small car segment, which had once dominated the Indian total passenger vehicles market, accounts for less than 30 per cent at present.

Takeuchi noted that India continues to be an important market for Suzuki.

"Our long-term goal is to produce and sell a total of four million units annually, including exports," he added.

The new Swift is priced between ₹6.49 lakh and ₹9.64 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Takeuchi said the automaker has invested around ₹1,450 crore towards the development of the premium hatchback.

This includes investment in tools and dyes for the vehicle as well as the new and more environment-friendly Z-Series engine, he added.

The model would be manufactured at Suzuki Motor Gujarat, from where it will serve customers in India as well as in overseas markets, Takeuchi said.