Maruti unveils Swift diesel car
The much awaited first diesel car from Maruti, the Swift diesel, was launched on Wednesday with an introductory price tag of Rs 4.68 lakhs for the LDi and Rs 4.96 lakhs for the VDi version. (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The engine in the diesel Swift is the 1300cc DDiS engine, a derivative of the Fiat Multijet engine, says BS Motoring. Maruti has a plant in India to manufacture exactly this diesel engine in India - it only seems logical that it will find its way in to the Indian Swift too.
Maruti also said that it plans to launch two new models in the next fiscal (2007-08) and a new model for export to Europe by 2008-09.
However, it did not give any details of the new models to be launched.
Launching the new Swift diesel, Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL) managing director Jagdish Khattar, said, “The demand for diesel cars is growing in India and Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and MUL have made major investments in diesel facilities to serve this customer need.” Asked if more diesel cars from Maruti are on the anvil, Mr Khattar said it is “too early to comment” on that.
The diesel model of Swift is made at the new plant in Manesar by Suzuki Powertrain India Ltd (SPIL), a joint venture between Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and MUL. Presently it has a capacity of one lakh engines per year, which will be augmented to three lakh engines per year, said Mr Khattar.
Mr Khattar said that SPIL was undertaking its Rs 2,500 crores expansion programme to increase engine production capacity to three lakh units per annum by 2010. SPIL will be exporting diesel engines to SMC’s plant in Hungary within the next two months, he said.
Speaking about export plans to Europe, Mr Khattar said, “We will introduce a new model by 2008-09 for European market.” This will mark a reentry for Maruti in the European market for exports.
He added, “We had stopped exporting to Europe as we needed to focus on the domestic market,”.