Maruti India recently completed its 40 years of collaboration with Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan. On the occasion, the automaker released a special report titled ‘40 years – Joy of Mobility’ reflecting on the company’s 40 years of journey and also gives a glimpse of its future roadmap as it moves ahead with optimism and confidence.
The joint venture between Maruti Udyog and Suzuki started on February 24, 1981. The company started its production in 1983 with the Maruti 800 (Suzuki FX in Pakistan). The car went on to became a household name that dominated the vehicle market for over four decades. What is noteworthy is this was the first time when a homegrown auto maker moved from design to production in just 13 months.
Leader in Affordable Cars
Maruti Suzuki cars account for more than 80% of total cars on Indian roads till 1997. The automaker expanded its portfolio with Omni, Esteem, Zen, and 1000. The production matched the high demand for Maruti cars at that time.
From Affordable to Premium Offerings
In its initial days, Maruti Suzuki was known as an ‘affordable carmaker’. Later on, the automaker shifted towards the luxury segment. It introduced models like Kizashi and Grand Vitara. This was also the time when Maruti Suzuki came up with a new platform for its premium offerings, called Nexa. The launch of Baleno in 2015 was a peak in the company’s journey that emerged as best-seller in the premium hatchback category.
Low-Maintenance, High Resale Value
Maruti Suzuki cars were synonymous with affordability. Another USP of these cars was the high resale value. The cars easily offered a 40-50% return value even after 3-4 years from the date of purchase.
The Dawn of 21st Century
Suzuki Motor Company was renamed Maruti Suzuki India in 2007 with a share rise of 56.37% in 2020. The company established multiple plants and manufacturing facilities across India. It also launched services like True Value, Maruti Finance and Maruti Insurance. The automaker introduced its first CNG model during this period – the Maruti Suzuki 2010 Wagon R CNG.
Shift to Automated Manual Transmission
The homegrown car maker introduced the Celerio hatchback in the second quarter of 2015, its first offering with the automated technology and the intelligently priced AMTs. The technology was eventually expanded to other product ranges from Wagon R, Alto to Dzire.
First Electric Vehicle Coming in 2025
Maruti Suzuki India will bring its first electric vehicle (EV) by 2025, Hisashi Takeuchi, MD & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said recently. The company has been testing 50 electric Wagon R units in India.
Inauguration of Two New Projects
Commemorating four decades of Suzuki’s presence in India, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of two key projects. These two Maruti Suzuki projects are Suzuki Motor Gujarat Electric Vehicle Battery Manufacturing Facility at Hansalpur and Suzuki’s upcoming vehicle manufacturing facility in Kharkhoda, Haryana.
The Hansalpur facility will be set-up with an investment of around INR 7,300 crore to manufacture Advance Chemistry Cell batteries for electric vehicles. On the other hand, the vehicle manufacturing facility in Kharkhoda will have the potential to manufacture 1 million passenger vehicles per year, making it one of the largest passenger vehicle manufacturing facilities at a single site in the world.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com