Maruti Suzuki is working on a new car design that will integrate an incorporate a full-model change capability, for the first time, according to IV Rao, managing executive officer (engineering).
According to Rao, who declined to go into the pricing of the new vehicle, the idea was to develop a car that would co-exist with the Alto, the largest-selling car with monthly volumes averaging over 30,000 units. He denied suggestions that the new car would be a renewed version or a fresh attempt at reviving the M800 model that had already exited 13 top metros following adoption of stricter emission norms. The model would be phased out gradually from the rest of the country over the coming years.
Rao said it would be an all-new car, though one based on an existing platform. He added the idea was to make it in-house with minimal support from Suzuki.
Maruti engineers had carried out facelifts on some of the existing models earlier and also assisted Suzuki during the development of some global models such as the Swift and the A-Star.
He said the car would be meant primarily for the Indian market and the idea behind the model was to "constantly introduce new models while also developing the company's R&D capability to develop, design and engineer a model on its own."
The company also wants to fill the gap created by the phase-out of the M800. Rao said, it would be no less than a milestone for the company.
He added that the new car might co-exit with the Alto and the company would have a two-model strategy at the entry-end of the market, like it had on the upper segments where it had a multi-model approach with cars like Ritz, Swift and WagonR pitched around the same price bracket.
Analysts however, think that the Maruti 800's price point would provide the automaker with a great opportunity to take on cars like the Tata Nano, in the segment.