Wednesday, December 07, 2011
By Pranjal Gera
Maruti set to shift gears with new Swift Diesel
With the prices of petrol fuel going upwards and more and more buyers shifting towards diesel versions of cars, the Indian auto giant Maruti Suzuki is looking forward to focus more towards rolling-out diesel version of its cars in the Indian market. At present the gap between petrol and diesel fuels has widened to nearly Rs 24-25 per litre, badly affecting the sales of petrol run small cars.
Currently, according to an estimate, the petrol version of cars account for up to 72 percent of the company’s total passenger car sales in the Indian market. Thus, with the decreasing demand of petrol run cars, the company need to launch new diesel run cars in the country. In the month of November 2011, the company registered sixth consecutive monthly fall of 18.5 percent.
However, Maruti is working aggressively to overcome the supply constrains of diesel engine in the Indian market so that the continuously mounting waiting period of the popular diesel run cars like Swift, Ritz and Dzire can be brought down.
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Taking a major step in this direction, Maruti Suzuki had recently finalized a diesel engine sourcing deal with Italian car maker Fiat, for sourcing 1 lakh diesel engines per year. From the month of January 2012, the company is all set to improve the supply of the diesel engines to 25,000 units from 20,000 units currently.
Earlier last month, the company has raised the price of its diesel run cars by up to Rs 10,000, in a bid to make save the shrinking profit margins due to high input material costs.
Moreover, the company is also planning to launch a series multi utility vehicle and sport utility vehicle in the Indian market, a segment where it has no presence, so far. It will showcase a new SUV concept at the Delhi International Auto Expo 2012.