Maruti made just the right noise at this year's expo. The company launched the Celerio and it became a runaway success within four months of its launch. By the time you read this, the CNG variant of the Celerio will already be on sale. Maruti has about half a dozen cars lined up for the Indian market. The facelifted Swift sets the ball rolling and is just around the corner with a launch scheduled as early as July this year. New features in the 2014 Swift include daytime running lamps, redesigned bumpers, push button start and an upgraded music system. In the last two years, manufacturers like Hyundai and Honda have eaten into Maruti's sales with their compact sedan versions. What was once a best seller, is now offered with discounts and ready availability. Post the launch of the new Swift, the Dzire facelift will also follow.
Among the bigger launches though will be the Ciaz in September which will replace the ageing SX4. Compact SUVs are the flavour of the season and Maruti doesn't want to be left behind in that race either. The company is working on the iV-4 for this highly competitive segment. Currently the iV-4 is larger than the requisite 4-metre norm but Maruti is re-engineering it to qualify. They also intend to launch the iV-4 in India by early 2015 with a price tag around Rs 7 lakh. The S-Cross which was displayed at the expo will also be launched in India sometime next year. It is expected to be priced more than Rs10 lakh and will compete with the Yeti. How the S-Cross plays out for Maruti remains to be seen since previous expensive Marutis like the Grand Vitara and Kizashi haven't done well.
The Maruti Suzuki S-CROSS Concept
While the petrol-only Celerio has a long waiting period of eight months, diesel cars have been Maruti's mainstay in the recent times. Maruti's parent company Suzuki is developing three new diesel motors for use in India. These engines are expected to be 0.8, 1 and 1.4-litre in displacement and will be used in Maruti cars as early as next year. Maruti's entire car portfolio in India will be powered by these engines. This approach will help Maruti immensely considering that they currently pay Fiat a royalty for using the Multijet engines. Fiat and Maruti had signed a contract in 2012 wherein the former was to supply Maruti with one lakh diesel engines till 2015.
Maruti is also considering reviving the iconic Zen badge. Plus there is also the update to the Alto K10 expected sometime later this year. Maruti is also looking to launch its first-ever LCV in 2015. Codenamed YLT, this LCV is expected to have a sub 1.0-litre engine, most likely the 800cc motor.