Maruti Baleno, next-gen Dzire to roll-out from Gujarat plant
21st Jun 2016 3:41 pm
While the Baleno's production is set to commence early 2017, the new Swift Dzire will roll out in 2018.
Maruti Suzuki India’s premium hatchback model, the Baleno, is set to be the first model to roll out from parent Suzuki Motor Corporation’s Mehsana plant in Gujarat from January 2017, according to sources in the know.
The carmaker is believed to be looking at an initial number of around 85,000 units of the Baleno from the new plant, of which around half will be the 1.3-litre diesel variant. The car comes in both petrol and diesel options with the automatic transmission to be offered in petrol. The second model to roll out from the factory in 2018 will be the new Swift Dzire that is being developed on a new platform with a number of innovations.
Maruti Suzuki, which currently produces the Baleno at the Manesar plant, may eventually explore the option of shifting the entire Baleno production to the Gujarat plant to release manufacturing capacity at its two Haryana facilities for other upcoming models.
The carmaker has already indicated that construction work on the Gujarat factory is on track. The first assembly line will produce 2,50,000 units with other manufacturing lines to be added based on market demand.
RC Bhargava, chairman of Maruti Suzuki India, confirmed to sister publication Autocar Professional that the carmaker will start production by January or February in Gujarat and the plant schedule is on track. He, however, maintained that there are no plans at present to shift the entire Baleno production to Gujarat. “We are now back to normal production at our Manesar and Gurgaon plants and there will be no shortfall in production across all models in a few months. All the targets will be met.” A few weeks earlier, both the plants had discontinued production due to the outbreak of fire at key AC kit supplier Subros’ manufacturing facility at Manesar. The carmaker had then advanced its annual maintenance closure of the factories to enable restoration of supplies from Subros.
With the company targeting about 70,000 units of Baleno exports per annum initially, according to sources, and then ramping up numbers, manufacturing it in Gujarat as well within close proximity to the Mundra Port would make sense.
Overall, the Baleno has seen good demand following its launch last October as is also being witnessed by the Vitara Brezza. So far, Maruti has delivered 64,000 units of the Baleno in the domestic market and the model has a waiting period of about 8 months. Interestingly, a sales executive at the Nexa dealership in New Delhi pegs the petrol sales at 60 percent of the total with the diesel portfolio contributing the balance. The most sought-after trim at the dealership continues to be the Delta edition in the mid-trim level, across both variants.
Maruti commenced exports of the made-in-India Baleno for the first time to Suzuki in Japan around end-January 2016 from the Mundra Port in Gujarat. This was followed by exports to Europe in February after an interregnum of about 3-4 years. As part of the carmaker's plan to carry forward the Indian government’s Make in India programme, the Baleno will be exported to about 100 global markets.