Maruti Suzuki has revealed a future course of direction in its annual report. It has, in brief, spoken about various technologies and updates that it will bring over the next few years. This list includes new platforms, mechanical updates as well improvements to the cabin. Here are some of the highlights from the report.
Introduction of new models, full model changes and minor changes
Based on what we have seen at the 2016 Auto Expo, we know that Maruti Suzuki will be bringing the Ignis as well as the Boosterjet engined Baleno hatchback. There is also expected to be a new Swift hatchback which will debut later this year and possibly be launched first in the India market in early 2017. This is likely to be followed by a new Dzire later next year. Finally, minor change models are expected to include an updated Ciaz as well as the petrol/ diesel AMT versions of the Brezza compact SUV.
Development of technologies for upcoming safety regulations, emission norms in the existing as well as the upcoming new models.
The Indian car market will go through two major changes by 2020 and both will significantly affect the cars that are sold here. The first is that BS4 emission norms will be fully implemented across the country by April 2017. The second is the implementation of the Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment programme) which is expected to be applicable from 2019 onwards. Maruti Suzuki already has most of its models BS4 compliant and has introduced optional airbag across all models while certain models have also got ABS as a part of the safety package.
New generation platforms
Last year, when Maruti Suzuki launched the Baleno it introduced a completely new platform. This allowed the premium hatchback to be lighter than its smaller sibling, the Swift, but offer much more room and better build quality. It is almost certain that the next generation Swift, Dzire and Ertiga will be derived from this platform.
Given that this is the future of motoring, it only seems logical that the largest manufacturer (in terms of market share) orient itself in a direction that would lead to such models being produced. It has already introduced its SHVS technology for the Ciaz and Ertiga and this is expected to spread across more models in the future. In terms of pure electric cars, it has signed a deal with Tata and Mahindra to jointly develop an all-electric vehicle for the Indian market. The plan is expected to involve equal investment across the plate under the FAME initiative (Faster
Adoption and Manufacturing of hybrid and electric vehicles)
New technologies in terms of lighting, interiors and exteriors
This is expected to involve use of new lightweight materials for the body and higher percentage of LED systems both inside and outside. The cabins of newer Marutis will get better upholstery in terms of grain and texture.