Maruti mulls assembling SUV Grand Vitara in India

Maruti mulls assembling SUV Grand Vitara in India

According to industry sources, the company which currently imports the Grand Vitara from Japan, has already started the initial process for starting assembly of the SUV, including talks with component makers for supply of parts.

"The company is seriously considering to bring in an advanced version of Vitara into India, mainly to arrest the falling sales of the SUV," a source said.

When contacted, a Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) spokesperson said, "We do not comment on our future products."

The source, however, said MSI's plans would be dependent on the market response to the advanced version of the SUV to be introduced in 2010.

Initially the company would sell the new Vitara as a completely-built-unit (CBU).

"After witnessing the demand of the vehicle for the first few months, the company will take a call on assembling it here in order to reduce the cost," the source said.

Currently CBUs attract over 100 per cent import duty, making it highly expensive and uncompetitive. Grand Vitara is available for Rs 16.67-17.97 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) with a 2.4 litre petrol engine in both manual as well as automatic transmission.

In the recent months, sales of Grand Vitara is falling drastically. During April-September period, sales of the SUV fell nearly 70 per cent to just 59 units from 194 units in the year-ago period, according to Society of Indian Manufacturer Association.

The company had launched an advanced version of Grand Vitara in July this year to revive the demand for the model but failed to do so. In September, sales declined by 53 per cent to only 9 units as against 19 units in the same month last year.

MSI's parent Suzuki has sold over 25 lakh units of Grand Vitara across the worlds since its launch.

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