As it strengthens its R&D activities, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India is aiming higher with plans to roll out a global car by 2017.
“Our ultimate aim is to develop a car for the global market. With our new R&D centre at Rohtak getting ready, we will start working on a global car,” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Managing Executive Officer (R&D) I V Rao said.
The company will develop the car, with some assistance from parent Suzuki Motor Corp (SMC), targeting the European and Japanese markets, he added.
When asked about any timeline to introduce the car that will be developed mainly by Indian engineers, Rao said: “It is difficult to share any specific time, but we are keeping a target of 2017.”
In the past, MSI engineers had participated in the development of global models, which have been introduced in India, such as Swift and Ritz.
MSI is at present working on an indigenously developed small car for the Indian market that is likely to be launched next year.
Without sharing any detail, Rao said: “It is a totally new model, but will be developed on an existing platform.”
However, sources close to the development said the car will be powered by a 800cc engine and will be positioned along with the company’s current bestseller Alto. MSI is spending up to Rs 1,500 crore to set up a R&D centre at Rohtak, which will be SMC’s only such significant centre outside Japan, to scale up its vehicle development programme and become self-reliant.
The firm currently depends on SMC for its model design and development programme.
Maruti Suzuki India is at present strengthening its R&D division by enhancing its capability to develop a full model on its own to become the hub of research activities for the SMC.