Maruti plans its own SUV, display concept at Auto Expo 2012

After the hatchback and sedan segment, it’s time for SUV’s. India’s biggest car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, plans to enter the fast-growing sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment at a time when increasing competition in its focus area. With cut throat competition in the small car segment and declining market share, the new SUV could help the company to increase its market share.

The company will showcase a concept for an SUV in January at the Auto Expo in Delhi.

“The segment has grown significantly in the past few years and we want to have a presence there,” said the executive, who did not want to be identified. “It will take at least two years for the model to be production-ready. The details regarding engine and other specifications will be worked out soon.”

Around 7-8% of the 2.5 million passenger vehicles sold in India are SUVs, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam). Companies such as Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd dominate the segment, which is expected to double its share of the passenger vehicle pie over the next decade.

After the Gypsy, Maruti did not launch any small SUV in India and concentrated mainly on the small car segment. At the 2010 Delhi auto expo Maruti had showcased the SX4 hatch.

We feel it could either be the SX4 hatch or the new Gen Jimny.  In July this year, Suzuki also agreed to buy a 1.6-litre diesel engine from Fiat’s powertrain unit to install in a car it will build in Hungary in 2013. The Japanese auto maker has been buying 2-litre diesel engines from Fiat Powertrain Technologies since 2006 for the SX4 made in Hungary.

The New SUV could be either power by the 1.3 multijet with 90 hp or a barnd new 1.6 could make the duty.