Maruti Suzuki plans to overhaul Swift, Dzire and Ertiga with new technologies

MUMBAI: India’s largest car maker Maruti SuzukiBSE 0.98 % is planning a major overhaul of its bestsellers – Swift and Swift Dzire, in an altogether new avatar. In its new generation both Swift and Dzire will get an all new body and a new engine at the heart.

Apart from Swift, Dzire, Ertiga too will get a mid-cycle facelift with new engine options.

ET learns, the new generations of the premium hatchback and compact sedan codenamed YSD are likely to hit the market in FY-18 with an annual potential of 4.5 lakh units. Whereas the new Ertiga codenamed YHA is expected to launched between October 2017 and January 2018, which may have an annual potential of 80,000 units per annum, said people in the know.

Several people in the know of the development told ET, that apart from getting a major makeover to its exterior, the Swift and Dzire will also get Suzuki’s own 1.5 litre diesel engine (codenamed E15A) and the existing 1.3 litre diesel engine with its new affordable mild-hybrid technology coined SHVS – Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki. Similarly the compact MPV Ertiga gets a new 1.4 litre petrol engine (K14C) and the 1.5 litre diesel engine.

When contacted, Maruti Suzuki spokesperson told ET, “The company does not comment on future product plans.”

Developed in line with modular architecture adopted by other global OEMS, these three models will share a lot of parts, hence helping the company save cost.

“These new generation models are developed keeping in mind the new regulations (crash, safety, emission norms) planned by the Indian government. The vehicles will get much lighter under the new architecture, thereby helping the company further improve fuel efficiency and will get an attractive design then before, which many consider will help Maruti Suzuki to further strengthen its position and share of the market,” said one of several people in the know of the development.
Such has been the stranglehold of Maruti Suzuki through the Swift family of cars that the carmaker sells more number of Dzires around 17,000 to 18,000 units per month, than all the vehicles from the competition in the same segment (Honda Amaze, Tata Zest, Hyundai Xcent). Ditto with Swift hatchback, which averages around 12,000 to 15,000 a month.

Even the compact MPV Ertiga has been able to maintain an average sales of 4000 to 5000 units per month, a segment where new competition like Honda Mobilio and Renault Lodgy are lately struggling to make an impact.

According to Gaurav Vangaal, senior analyst for Forecasting at IHS Automotive, since all three vehicles are segment leaders in order to continue momentum it is an old strategy to regularly invest in growth with new project.

“The development on new platforms clearly indicates that Maruti is sensitive of emerging competition in addition to changing macro environment in the country,” he said.

Vangaal added that the exports will get a major boost when the Gujarat plant gets cracking and margins too will improve. Also, its own diesel engines will help the Indian subsidiary to reduce the royalty paid to Fiat for the 1.3 multijet diesel engines.