The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) will launch two new models next fiscal, a top company official said. The auto major, which has introduced two models in the current fiscal so far, is also in the process of upgrading its current portfolio to have safety features like airbags, seat belt reminder and reverse parking sensors by June to comply with new safety norms.
"(There are) two new product launches in 2019-20," MSI Chairman RC Bhargava told PTI.He further said one product would be launched in the fourth quarter of 2018-19.It is understood that the product will be launched later this month and is the new version of the company's popular compact car WagonR.
MSI has already launched new versions of its multi-purpose vehicle Ertiga and sedan Ciaz in 2018-19. It had also introduced new Swift in February last year.According to industry sources, while one of the brand new models could be retailed through the company's premium chain Nexa, the other could be introduced in the mass market Arena outlets.
When asked about sales outlook, Bhargava said the company is "pretty optimistic" about sales in 2019 partly because of new model launches."Besides, historically it has been seen that election year is always a high sales year... so after looking at all these things we are pretty optimistic that next year is going to be a good year," Bhargava said.
Commenting on preparations for upgrading vehicles to conform to the new safety norms, MSI Senior Executive Director (Engineering) CV Raman said all its models will have to conform with safety features like airbags, seat belt safety reminder and reverse parking sensors by June this year.
"Today, we have seven models that are already compliant and rest three we are working on," he said.The company started safety upgradation process for its models with Vitara Brezza in 2016.
As per the government regulations, all passenger vehicle manufacturers are required to have airbags, seat belt reminder and reverse parking sensors in all their models from July 1, 2019.Besides, models which have been in the market will have to be equipped with anti-lock braking system (ABS) with effect from April 2019. On the other hand, all new models were mandated to have ABS from April 2018.
Other upgraded safety regulations like frontal, offset and side impact in existing models are scheduled to come into effect from October 1, 2019. New models are already compliant from October last year.Pedestrian safety regulations for passenger vehicles will kick in from October 2020.