Marutis AMT line under Magneti Marelli JV may go operational next year

Written by Roudra Bhattacharya | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 19 2014, 14:30pm hrs
To cope with high demand for its Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) powered Celerio and the new Alto K10, Maruti Suzuki is setting up a new AMT manufacturing line at Manesar under its joint venture with Italy's Magneti Marelli. While the company did not mention the investment, the line is expected to be operational next year.

We are hoping to meet the high demand for the AMTs by next year. We expect 30-40% of our small car sales to come from AMT, Maruti MD Kenichi Ayukawa said, adding that for the new Alto K10 about 20% of the sales are expected to come from the AMT variant.

Another official added, Currently we have a supply of 3,500 AMT kits per month, which is being increased to 5,000. These kits are locally assembled by Magneti from imported parts. With the new line, local manufacturing will start, helping us increase volumes faster.

For the Celerio, on which the AMT technology made its local debut, 40% of the 83,000 orders between January and October this year came for the AMT version. On Monday, the new Alto K10 became Maruti's second car to offer the technology, with others like the WagonR expected to follow suit. In the domestic market, Tata Motors also offers the AMT in its new Zest compact sedan, while Mahindra and Renault are both developing cars for India with the AMT.

Magneti, a Fiat Group company and supplier of the AMT kits to both Maruti and Tata Motors (for the Zest), has a joint venture with Maruti since 2007. About Rs 75 crore was invested in the JV when it was formed, with Magneti controlling 51%, Maruti 19% and Maruti's Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corporation 30%. The supplier unit, part of the 14 other similar auto component joint ventures of Maruti, makes several parts like diesel engine ECUs and gearboxes.