be used on entry SUVs, are still under development.
Abdul Majeed, automotive practice leader at Pricewaterhouse Coopers said, “For any company having its own diesel engine capacity is important in order to not depend on a third party, so for Maruti importing engine will likely be a short-term measure”.
Maruti, which has a 40% share of India's 27 lakh passenger vehicle market, however will be a bit late into the compact SUV party since its plans are delayed by about a year due to issues in development and parts sourcing, sources said. By then, analysts add that competitors will be well-established - the Ford EcoSport, Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano have already been launched in the past year, while Hyundai, Honda and Mahindra are also expected to launch their own compact UVs by 2015. In this light, Maruti's compact SUV in the Rs 7-8 lakh range, codenamed 'YBA' and based on the 'XA Alpha' concept shown in Delhi Auto Expo 2012, will only be launched closer to 2016. But before that in 2015, Maruti will launch the SX4 crossover (Code: YAD) in the Rs 9-10 lakh range. Later in the pipeline is larger SUV based on the 'iV4 concept' that is expected for launch by 2017.
Kenichi Ayukawa, Maruti's MD & CEO also confirmed this earlier this week. “It will be quite difficult to launch the compact SUV in 2014, I don't think that will be possible,” he said when asked if the company plans to launch any SUVs next year. However, he confirmed that Suzuki is developing its own diesel engines.
Recently, Pareek had underlined the urgency to add SUVs to Maruti's portfolio. “I am always asking the engineering guys to quicken their work on SUVs, it is the need of the hour. I expect to see a 3-4% jump in our market share once we roll out our SUVs. Its among the fastest growing sectors today and accounts for about 21% of car sales and we are not present there, so we are losing out,” he had said.
Interestingly, Maruti has also delayed its diesel engine capacity expansion plans as demand for petrol cars bounce back on rising diesel fuel prices. Instead of the earlier plan to set up a 3 lakh unit annual capacity plant in two phases, it is now commissioning only half that capacity by end of this month while keeping the rest on hold. This is additional to