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Swift to target domestic market

By Piyush Pandey in Ahmedabad
May 28, 2005 14:41 IST
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Maruti Udyog has no plans to export Swift, its latest offering, from India in the current financial year because of capacity constraints.

Suzuki plans to source the car for selling in the European, Japanese, Chinese and Australian markets from its manufacturing units in Japan and China.

"We are targeting the domestic market first and we will not face any capacity constraint here. A sizeable number of cars have been manufactured at our plant in Gurgaon and deliveries will commence by the first week of June," Arvind Saxena, chief general manager, sales, MUL said.

"Over 85 per cent of the car has been indigenised. Swift is based on the latest European design and styling, built with Japanese quality and precision, utilising Indian engineering capability. The car has an universal appeal," he added.

At present, MUL has an installed capacity of 3,50,000 units per annum and the company manufacturers around 6,00,000 vehicles per annum on a two-shift basis.

However, the company officials did not divulge the exact number of Swift cars to be manufactured in India. According to industry estimates, around 50,000 Swifts are expected to be sold in India in the first year.

Maruti 'Swift' @ Rs 3.87 lakh

"Last year, we manufactured 5,90,000 vehicles. Capacity will not be a problem for manufacturing Swift as far as domestic market is concerned. We may enhance production as and when required. However, we are not in a position to export these at present," said Saxena.

The company aims to garner over 50 per cent of the market share in its segment. When asked if Swift would affect sales of other Maruti offerings such as Zen or Alto, Saxena said, "The prime motto of launching this car was to bring those customers back, who left us to look outside. However, other models of Maruti may not be untouched, but in the long run, Swift will create its own niche segment."

Swift was designed by 25 Indian engineers from Maruti, who have worked with their Japanese counterparts at Suzuki Motor Corporation for two years to design this world car and prepare it for Indian conditions.

"Currently, being launched across the globe, Swift has received rave reviews internationally for its path breaking looks and styling and superior safety features. It has become one of the top 20 best-selling models in Japan since its launch there in November 2004," said Saxena.

The company has initiated an aggressive and innovative marketing campaign for Swift in India. The company has created a national sales force of 'Swift Energizers', who have been especially groomed and trained to attend to Swift customers at Maruti dealerships.

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Piyush Pandey in Ahmedabad
Source: source