MSI plans engine upgrades, more models with automatic variants

Panjim: Country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) plans to upgrade engines, introduce new platforms and bring in more models with various level of automatic transmissions as it aims to sell two million units by 2020.

The company, which currently sells around 94,000 units with AGS (automated gear shift), aims to sell a total of around 1.5 lakh units with two pedal technologies, including CVT and AT, in current fiscal and 3 lakh units by 2020.

“Such technologies (two pedal technologies, including AGS, CVT and AT) are getting popular in the country. Most of our models will have them by 2020,” MSI Executive Director R&D C V Raman told PTI.

The company is looking to bring in AGS technology in models up to Dzire and AT (automatic) and CVT (continuously variable transmission) in models beyond Baleno, Raman added.

The company currently offers AGS technology in Alto K10, Wagon R, Celerio, Ignis and Dzire. CVT comes in Baleno, while AT transmission comes in Ciaz and Ertiga.

Raman said the company has increased production capacity of such transmissions and has also gone in for localisation of parts in order to make the variants affordable.

“Our experience on AGS has been quite positive. It accounts for over 40 per cent sales in Celerio, 13 per cent in Wagon R, 15 per cent in Alto, 26 per cent in Ignis,” Raman said.

The car market leader, with market share of over 47 per cent in the domestic passenger vehicle segment, is also working to make its cars better in terms of fuel efficiency and safety equipment.

On the engines front, Raman said that with corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) norms in sight “upgrading” would be the key.

“CAFE norms are coming so we will have to upgrade engines. Currently, we are talking only about A and B segments but in other segments we will have to look at new platforms,” he said.

“Engine upgradation is going to be the key as fuel efficiency has to be increased,” he added.

Besides, the company is working on making its entire product portfolio BS-VI emission norms compliant by April 2020. It is also working at meeting safety norms.

Commenting on product launches, Raman said the company has already introduced eight products out of the 15 launches planned till 2020.

“Seven are left and that will happen by 2020,” he added.