Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is looking at its engineers to take lead in the development of at least three to four models, out of 15 new vehicles to be launched in the country by 2020, along the lines of its new compact SUV Vitara Brezza.
The move is part of Suzuki Motor Corporation’s (SMC) vision of MSI shouldering more responsibility in developing India-specific products while the parent focuses on high-end technology, according to sources.
“There could be three to four models that would be developed with MSI engineers taking the lead out of the 15 models planned to be launched in India by 2020. However, no final decision has been taken yet,” a source said.
These products will, however, be developed on Suzuki engines and platform and not from the scratch, the source added.
“These will be like the Vitara Brezza, which followed a unique development process with a special focus on taste and values of Indian customers,” according to the source.
When contacted, a company spokesperson declined to comment, saying “we do not comment on our future product plans.”
The 15 new models to be launched in the next five years in India are to be mainly spread over three key platforms, which will together entail an investment of $1 billion.
MSI Executive Director – R&D, C V Raman lead the design and development of the Vitara Brezza, which was developed at a total investment of Rs 860 crore with localisation level of 98 per cent.
The model, that was unveiled at the Auto Expo 2016, would be launched in the market in the coming weeks.
During his visit to India for the Auto Expo, SMC President and COO T Suzuki had stated that the Japanese car major expected its arm Maruti Suzuki to shoulder more responsibility in developing India-specific products.
“The main responsibility of our Indian R&D is to develop suitable products for the Indian market. Maruti Suzuki will be shouldering more and more responsibility in this regard,” he had said.
Suzuki had pointed out that entry of other global players has increased competition in India and “we have to develop more suitable products for the Indian market”.
Already, Maruti Suzuki has been ramping up its design and development capabilities with an investment of Rs 2,500 crore to set up its R&D centre at Rohtak which boasts of a test track, among others.
MSI is looking to clock two million sales annually by 2020. In 2014-15 it sold a total of 12,92,415 units. In the April-January period this fiscal, the company has sold 11,82,452 units.