Maruti Suzuki is going to refresh its entire existing portfolio of older models in the next two years. Swift, the largest selling premium hatchback in the country, will get a fresh design and new petrol engine while Maruti’s largest selling product Alto will come in two new variants. As posted earlier, Alto will have a stripped down version to compete with the Tata Nano and an upmarket variant loaded with the new KB series engine to take on Hyundai Santro, GM’s Spark and other compact cars in the market.
Maruti’s other cars, the ageing WagonR and the Versa are also being overhauled while the company will tweak the engines of 25-year old Maruti 800 and the Omni to meet the new BS4 emission standards coming in April 2010. The sports utility vehicle Grand Vitara will also don a new engine.
By refreshing the portfolio Maruti will save on huge incremental costs that goes into developing new cars and platforms. As against the minimum cost of Rs 50-100 crore for upgrading a car, developing a new car could eat up investments of Rs 600-1,000 crore. Maruti may also bring the Kizashi to India sometime next year. Developed by its Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corp, it will compete with the likes of Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra.