Maruti Suzuki is considering to locally assemble the Grand Vitara by next year, as it looks to bring a diesel version of the SUV to bump the sales. 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. Initially the diesel Vitara would be a completely-built-unit (CBU). CBUs attract over 100% import duty, making it highly expensive and uncompetitive.
In the recent months, sales of Grand Vitara is falling drastically. During April-September period, sales of the SUV fell nearly 70% to just 59 units from 194 units in the year-ago period. In July, a more powerful version of the Grand Vitara was introduced to revive the demand but failed to do so. In September, sales declined by 53% to only 9 units as against 19 units in the same month last year.