Japanese automobile firm Suzuki Motor Corp. is planning to introduce Maruti as a sub brand in the global market focusing on affordable cars in developing countries. While the Maruti brand is only operational in India, the cars manufactured here for the export market are branded as Suzuki. The objective is to let the Indian subsidiary Maruti Suzuki grow as a low cost brand in developing markets like Africa. This move is similar to what other automakers are doing in emerging markets.
While Suzuki has a major share of 56.2% in the Indian company, the Indian subsidiary helps the Japanese firm earn almost 40% of their global revenue. This and the 2008 global meltdown which Maruti Suzuki survived and helped in the growth of Suzuki has made the Japanese bosses believe in the Indian brand and prompted them to develop the brand at a new high. Suzuki had these plans much before but didn’t implement them because of a smaller product range than what it is now.
Maruti Suzuki currently has a wide range of cars known for their affordability and value for money ownership. This Maruti sub-brand in developing markets should prove beneficial as a low-cost brand. Besides, if Suzuki plans on following re-badging strategy for different markets then this move would help reduce the overall cost considering sharing of platforms, inventory and research and development. Similar to what popular car brands have already done. Toyota has Daihatsu as its sub-brand, Renault has Dacia while Nissan promotes Datsun as its low-cost car brand.