Friday, January 1, 2010

Maruti Suzuki India Limited: The company that shaped Indian cars

When I think about Maruti Suzuki, the first thing that comes to my mind is the red colored Maruti Suzuki 800 car. It is an icon of the Indian automobile industry. Maruti Suzuki India Limited is the company that first mass produced cars in India and sold more than one million cars. It remained the leading Indian automaker for more than twenty years. Setup in 1981 with Indian government having a 18.28% stake and Suzuki Motor Corp. of Japan 54.2% stake, Maruti Udyog Limited started production in 1983. As of May 10, 2007, Indian government sold its entire share to various local financial institutions and on September 17, 2007, the company changed its name from Maruti Udyog Limited to Maruti Suzuki India Limited. Headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana, near Delhi, it is the leading automaker in India and one of top auto makers in terms of volume of cars sold and revenue in South Asia. Today, Maruti cars are not only sold in India but also in other countries. Models similar to Maruti Suzuki cars are made and sold by Suzuki Motor Corp. in Pakistan and other South Asian countries.

Manufacturing facilities:

Maruti currently has two manufacturing facilities- one in Gurgaon, and the other in Manesar South of New Delhi. Spread over 300 acres, the Gurgaon facility has three fully integrated plants. It can produce 3,50,000 cars per year but productivity improvements enabled the facility to produce 700,000 cars per year. The facility has 150 robots of which 71 are developed “in-house.” The Gurgaon facility also has ‘K’ engine plant and it has the capacity to produce 2,40,000 engines per year. The unit was commissioned in 2008. The ‘K’ engine facility was part of a Rs.90 billion investment plan jointly taken over by Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki Motor Corporation. The Gurgaon facility employs many state-of-the art technology used by renowned auto producers around the world.

The Manesar facility, located in Manesar, South of New Delhi, was launched in 2007. It has a vehicle assembly plant with a production capacity of 100,000 units per year and a diesel engine plant that can produce 100,000 engines and transmissions. The combined capacity of the two plants is more than 700,000 units per year.


Currently Maruti Suzuki produces fifteen models. They are:


Maruti Omni: It is a microvan. The first version of Maruti Omni, Omni (E), was released in 1996. It has 796 cc engine like the one used in Maruti Suzuki 800. It had 8 seater capacity.

Maruti Versa: The second microvan from Maruti Suzuki. Basically a clone of Suzuki Every Landy. There are two basic versions of this car- the 8-seater DX/DX2 versions, and the 5-seater STD version. The car entered the Indian market in October 2001. About seventy percent of its parts are made in India.

Luxury sedan

Maruti Esteem: The Maruti Esteem is the popular sedan car of India. For a long time, the car was used by the affluent Indians. It was a reliable car with a powerful engine and low maintenance cost. Maruti stopped production of the model in late 2007 and Maruti Swift Dzire took over its place.

Maruti Baleno: It is the first luxury car produced by the company. It was made to compete with Honda City and Mitsubishi Lancer. In Japan the car was called Cultus. The car could not become so popular for its high price.

Maruti Swift Dzire: Launched on March 26, 2008, the Maruti Swift Dzire is the new entry level sedan. The project started back in 2005. The goal was to create a “three-box notchback version” of the Swift. The car competes with other entry level sedan models such as the Mahindra Renault Logan and the Tata Indigo. It weighs 30-35 kgs more than the Swift. Few modifications were made to increase the comfort of the rear passengers.

Maruti Suzuki SX4: Another stylish sedan from Maruti Suzuki launched in 2007.

The car is equipped with 1.6 litre gasoline engine. The car measures 4,490 mm in length and 1,735 mm in width. The car comes with adjustable outside rear-view mirror, 15inch large wheels, arched bumpers and wrap-around head and tail lamps. In the 10th Indian Auto Expo a Prussian Blue Pearl SX4 hatchback will be on display.

Hatchback city car

Maruti 800: A small compact city car and the flagship product of the company. The Maruti 800 is a rebadged version of Suzuki Alto. The car was first produced in 1984 and remained the top car in India till 2004. More than a million units of Maruti 800 has been sold around the world. Because of the iconic status of the car in India the term, “Maruti,” is used to refer to this car model.

Maruti Alto: It is the Indian version of Suzuki Alto. The car was first released on September 27, 2000 in India. The car went on to become one of the best selling hatchback cars in India. Since 2006, Maruti Alto is India's largest selling car. In February 2008, the car crossed the 1 million production figure and became the 3rd Maruti car to cross the million mark in India after Maruti 800 and Maruti Omni.

Maruti Ritz: Another hatchback city car from Maruti launched on May 15, 2009. In the International market, the car was sold as Suzuki Splash. Jointly developed by Suzuki and Opel, the was introduced as a concept car at the 2006 Paris Auto Show as the Suzuki Splash. The car is made to appeal th young generation. It focused on style, design, mileage and luxury.

Maruti A-Star: This is the first environment friendly hatchback produced from scrapped parts of various cars. This car does not have harmful materials like mercury, cadmium and lead. The Maruti A-Star is available in three categories- Maruti A-Star Lxi, Maruti A-Star Vxi and Maruti A-Star Zxi.

Maruti Wagon R: The Maruti Wagon R is the Indian version of Suzuki Wagon R, one of the most popular cars in Japan. Launched in 1993, the Suzuki Wagon R is still widely produced by Suzuki. “R” stands for recreation. The Wagon R used “tall wagon design.” Recently, the car has been revamped and shed the boxy look. The car was launched in India in 2001. Though it was the first car based on “tall-boy design,” it was not the first car in India but the Hyundai Santro Xing.

Maruti Zen Estilo: Maruti Zen Estilo is the rebadged version of Maruti Zen. “Estilo” is a Spanish word, which means style. The car was set to compete with Hyundai Santro, Tata Indica. From the design perspective, you can call it a stylish Wagon R. The car was launched in December 2006. The new Maruti Zen Estilo is targeted toward those people who want a stylish, good looking and a comfortable car at a reasonable price.

Maruti Swift: Maruti Swift is a stylish hatchback compact car featuring Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDI) technology. The car is run by a DDiS engine which is produced at the company’s Manesar plant. The car was launched in India in 2005. The car is equipped with six on-board computers to give highest performance and the engine is designed to perform at low and mid-range speeds.


Maruti gypsy: The Maruti Gypsy is a low cost four wheel drive SUV. The design of the vehicle is based on the Suzuki Jimny SJ series. The jeep is also widely used in Chile, Kenya, Malta and Hungary. Available in “soft top,” “hard top,” and “ambulance car,” the Maruti Gypsy is used by the Indian defense force and police forces.

Maruti Grand Vitara:This luxury SUV can run on both on city roads and rough roads and is cheaper than Honda CRV. The vehicle is packed with all the luxury features including power windows, locking doors and mirrors. It also has remote entry system and adjustable steering.


  • In 2007-2008 session, Maruti Suzuki produced 7,64,842 cars. Of these, 53,024 were exported.
  • Maruti Suzuki annually exports more than 50,000 cars and sales more than 7,30,000 cars in India per year.
  • On December 14, 1983, the company rolled out its first production car. Since then, it produced more than six million cars for Indian consumers.
  • Through 2004, Maruti produced more than 5 million vehicles.
  • More than 50% of the shop floor employees are trained in Japan.
  • More than half the cars sold in India, belongs to Maruti Suzuki India Limited.
  • The company is listed on National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India.
  • Maruti Swift was the largest selling car in A2 segment.
  • Maruti Swift, Maruti Swift dzire,Maruti A-star and Maruti SX4 are maufactured in Manesar. Grand Vitara is imported from Japan as a completely built unit (CBU). The remaining models are manufactured in Maruti Suzuki's Gurgaon Plant.
  • Not only Maruti is famous for its cars but also as employer. In India, for young engineers and managers, Maruti is the most favorite employer. About 75000 people are directly employed by Maruti and its partners.
  • Another major reason, for Maruti’s success is its high quality customer service. For ten years in a row, the company came out as the number one for customer satisfaction among Indian car makers in an annual survey conducted by J. D. Power and Associates, a reputed marketing research firm.

Related articles:


Maruti Suzuki India Limited official website

No comments:

Post a Comment