Maruti’s parent Suzuki will be exclusively manufacturing the next-generation Swift at its plant in Gujarat for sale in India and abroad, the shift happening after nearly 13 years of manufacturing in Haryana. The Gujarat plant, which started production in 2016, currently manufactures Baleno that is retailed through Maruti’s premium retail channel Nexa.
The addition of Swift to the production at Gujarat will help achieve economies of scale and drive in efficiencies in terms of production planning, R S Kalsi, executive director in charge of sales and marketing, told TOI.
The Swift has been one of Maruti’s most successful vehicles and has achieved sales of nearly 18 lakh units since its launch in 2005. The car was initially manufactured at Gurgaon, and later its production was shifted to the relatively-newer facility at Manesar.
“However, we have now decided that the model will be built in Gujarat,” Kalsi said, just ahead of the upgraded model’s launch in February during the auto expo at Greater Noida.
Suzuki’s first production line in Gujarat will hit a capacity of 1.5 lakh units (annually) by the end of this fiscal and reach maximum limit of 2.5 lakh units by 2018-19. Suzuki has also started work for a second production unit, which will also have a peak capacity of 2.5 lakh annually. This is expected to go on stream in the last quarter of 2018-2019.
Total investments for the two lines and an engine and transmission line is around Rs 9,500 crore.The company has also said that it will put a third line in Gujarat, though no specific timeline has been announced yet.
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Maruti expects that the new Swift will give them strong volumes and help boost share in the compact car market. Asked if there can be a cannibalisation between new Swift and Baleno, Kalsi said that some shift can always happen.economictimes