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Maruti to invest Rs 4,000 crore in key areas in 2-3 years

PTI 06 Nov 2014, 13:04:10 PM IST

New Delhi: Country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) is investing up to Rs 4,000 crore in the next 2-3 years in key areas like product development, R&D and marketing infrastructure, a senior MSIL official said on Tuesday.

MSIL would also focus more on bringing out models with auto gear shift technology, going forward, executive director- engineering, CV Raman said.

"Currently Rs 4,000 crore worth of investments are going into research and development, product development and marketing infrastructure over period of two to three years (including the current year).

"We will be improving our R&D capability. We are setting up test labs and other facilities. Marketing infrastructure such as setting up stockyards will be created," Raman said on the sidelines of launch of the company's new version of Alto K10 hatchback.

The company is expected to come out with a SUV- XA Alpha- next year, he said.

Replying to a query, Raman said as of now there are no plans to make diesel engines while Suzuki is working on various types of engines in diesel.

On the reports of crash test failure of Swift, Raman said the car meets all standards set by the Indian government.

"All MSIL as well as other vehicles comply with Indian regulations. As far as swift is concerned. The test is not mandatory in India. There is no regulation to pass that test," he said.

According to the Global NCAP, an umbrella body of consumer car safety testing bodies, crash tests of Nissan's Datsun GO and Maruti-Suzuki's Swift demonstrated a high risk of life-threatening injuries with both cars receiving zero-star safety rating for their adult occupant protection.

He asserted that the Global NCAP report will not have any impact on Swift sales.

The production of auto gear shift models is being ramped up to meet the market demand, he said.

"Currently, roughly about 4,000 vehicles (are being produced) per month with AGS technology and going forward will ramp up this number. We feel that the two pedal technology is very relevant now. Obviously the auto gear models would increase the volume.

May be in future we look at coming out with more models in AGS," he said.

Raman said the sales of diesel vehicles could go up as the price difference between petrol and diesel is narrowing.

Further, the country's largest car maker also plans to export its next generation small car Alto K10 to Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

"We intend to export the Alto K10 to Africa, Middle East and Latin America", Amitava Roy, Vice President (Parts), told reporters soon after launching the model in Kerala.

Maruti sold 11 lakh cars in the country last year and was expecting a 10 per cent growth this year, he said.

This is the first time in the country that at the entry level a car has been fitted with automatic gear shift. Pointing out that Kerala was definitely a market for small cars, he said that 3,000 of the total of 9,000 cars sold monthly in the state are Alto.

Sporting a new youthful look, the Alto K10 claims to deliver a fuel efficiency of 24.07 km per litre, a 15 per cent improvement over the previous model.

The petrol variant is priced between Rs 3.22 lakh and Rs 3.73 lakh (ex-showroom Kochi), while the Auto Gear Shift model is priced at Rs 3.97 lakh. The CNG model will cost Rs 3.99 lakh.