India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki will launch its first multi-purpose vehicle Ertiga on April 12 in both petrol and diesel versions on Swift platform to rival the Toyota Innova and the latest Mahindra Xylo.
The petrol car engine will feature a new K-14 VVT 1.4 motor which produces 95PS and for diesel version, a 1.3-litre DDiS engine will be fitted to produce 90PS. With a 5-speed manual gear box, Maruti Suzuki said it was aiming at a fuel efficiency of 16.02kmpl for the petrol and 20.77kmpl for the diesel version of Ertiga.
With twin AC, USB compatible audio system with 4+2 speakers and power windows, it features a multi-information display, electrically adjustable mirror, central door locking and keyless entry, steering mounted audio controls and two-tone beige interiors.
Measuring 4.2 metres in length, it will be slightly shorter than its main rivals Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo which are 4.5 metres in length.
While the company has not announced the price of the vehicle, it is likely to begin with Rs 10 million and go above. The company is hoping to sell at least 5,000 units a month.
In fact, the seven-seater was one of the main attractions at the Delhi Auto Expo in January this year. With this, Maruti Suzuki will enter the UV segment which was dominated by Toyota with its Innova and Mahindra with its new Xylo models. Maruti, otherwise, kept itself confined to the lower and middle end segments with Omni and Eeco.
India’s automobile market is led by Maruti Suzuki, which registered a growth of 6.5 percent in February 2012 over the same month last year. It was mostly driven by small car segment, with over 14 models on the Indian roads from commercial vehicles to passenger cars, and now the auto-giant has decided to take a shift to mainstream MPV.
The Japanese car company also said Ertiga will not be sold in Japan but will be marketed in Indonesia and, if required in Malaysia, with minor modifications. “Ertiga is a global product from Suzuki, but it is designed primarily for India, though it will be sold in other ASEAN countries later,” said Mayank Pareek, managing executive officer of Maruti Suzuki earlier in January.
The main achievement of Maruti Suzuki with Ertiga was the seat flexibility that gives more leg space and seat specs. About 30 Indian engineers at Suzuki’s Hamamatsu headquarters in Japan were roped into the project to design seats and provide maximum leg room built into the new design suitable for Indians, earlier reports said.
Maruti Suzuki on its website proudly says: “The all new Ertiga is here to enhance your lifestyle. A powerful, responsive engine. Advanced technology for better performance. Ergonomically designed 5+2 flexi-seating. Stylish, happy interiors with high quality upholstery. All come together in a sporty body design to create a new car-category. From rush-hour driving to midnight spins and long drives, LUV is here to transform it all!”
No wonder as the company is keeping its sight tight on the country’s MPV segment that has grown 15 percent in last four years.
It remains to be seen whether the company will reach its goal of selling 5,000 units per month this month itself or gradually.