India's largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki has been in a strong pitch with its midsize models such as Vitara Brezza, Baleno and Ciaz. Now the company plans to launch a new small car to strengthen its position in the entry-level segment.
Earlier it was reported that, overwhelmed by the success of Vitara Brezza, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) handed over the responsibility of developing the next-gen Alto to its Indian subsidiary.
Managing Director, Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), Kenichi Ayukawa confirmed this development. He said, "We are working on a pipeline of products across segments, and are looking at a small car at the entry-level which will come in the next 2-3 years."
In the recent times, Maruti Suzuki Alto has been facing a tough competition from Renault Kwid. Alto's sales volume dropped by 7.4 percent in the first eight months of the ongoing financial year.
The Renault Kwid has eaten a chunk of market share from the Maruti Suzuki's entry-level segment. Alto's market share dropped by 42 percent between April and November of this fiscal year.
According to reports, Maruti Suzuki is working on a project internally codenamed as Y1K. The new small car is likely to be launched during the festive season of 2019. The next-gen Alto will be built on a fresh platform to meet new regulations.
Maruti Suzuki will also invest Rs 2,000 crore at its state of the art research and development centre in Rohtak, Haryana, over the next three years to strengthen its R&D capabilities.
Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava stated that the trend is reversing in the passenger vehicle market in India. The firm's booking have improved by 7 percent in December. Due to demonetisation, Maruti Suzuki's bookings had dropped by 20 percent in November.
Bhargava said, "What I understand is that cash availability has improved. Besides, good monsoons helped grow rural sales in the first few months of the fiscal."
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