Maruti Suzuki has recently signed a deal with Mazda for contract manufacturing of the Ertiga MPV. Maruti, the largest car manufacturer in India, will benefit from the opportunity of selling petrol powered Ertiga under the deal of supplying CKD (completely knocked down) units of the MPV to Suzuki Indonesia. The deal gives an advantage to the Indian manufacturer for utilizing the mostly vacant petrol capacity, as Indians prefer diesel powered Ertiga over petrol ones. The Maruti Eritga is rebadged as the Mazda VX-1 in Indonesia and gets a few cosmetic upgrades.
Currently, the CKD unit supply of the Ertiga to Suzuki Indonesia is estimated at over 50,000 units annually and is expected to increase further after the deliveries to Mazda increase. Apart from the Eritga, Maruti Suzuki also has a global deal with Nissan, which includes contract manufacturing of the A-Star hatchback that is being sold as the Nissan Pixo across Europe. The partnership with Nissan commenced with 50,000 units but eventually, because of the economic crisis in Europe, only one tenth of the units planned are being supplied to Nissan.
Coming to the re-badged Ertiga aka Mazda VX-1, the MPV features the same 4-cylinder, 1.4-litre K-Series petrol engine that develops a peak power of 94 BHP with a peak torque of 130 Nm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The Mazda VX-1 is also offered with a 4-speed automatic transmission as an option. The exteriors of the Ertiga have been tweaked with sporty side skirts and a new grille up front along with a fresh set of alloy wheels for the Indonesian market. Maruti Suzuki’s sales in overseas market have been dwindling recently but the company hopes exports will stabilize the profits with the new Mazda deal.