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Concept A-Star in New Delhi
Suzuki's next strategic model
To rise from India in October

Suzuki Concept A-Star shows some of the forthcoming model's design themes.

Concept A-Star, showing Suzuki's next A-segment model.

12 December 2007.

Pursuing its plans for long-term growth, and only a few months after the launch of its new mini MPV Splash  model at the 2007 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Suzuki is now preparing the fifth model of its growth strategy (following the new Swift, Grand Vitara, SX4 and Splash) to show next month in India, as a concept.

The small-car specialist will show some of the forthcoming model's design themes at Auto Expo 2008 in New Delhi (9-17 January) in the form of the Concept A-Star.

The new model is an A-segment five-door hatchback to be powered by an all new Euro 5-compliant 1.0-litre aluminium petrol engine, with target CO2 emissions lower than 109g/km.

Suzuki Concept A-Star: side view.

Five-door hatchback to be made in India and exported to Europe.

Like many other automakers focusing on the most promising emerging markets, Suzuki attaches great importance to India. The Japanese carmaker efforts have earned Suzuki more than a 50% share of the passenger car market there. In the first eight months of its current fiscal year (April to November), Maruti Suzuki sold over 466 thousand units in India. Its full year sales are expected to reach 730 thousand units.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), 1,544,850 passenger vehicles were produced in India the previous fiscal year (April 2006 - to March 2007, +18% compared to FY 2005-2006), including 1,238,032 passenger cars (+18.34%), 222,111 utility vehicles (+13.03%) and 84707 MPVs (+27%). Indian production of commercial vehicles reached 520 thousand units (+32.9%).

SIAM figures indicate that domestic sales of passenger vehicles grew by 20.7% in FY 2006-2007 (compared to FY 2005-2006), to reach 1,379,698 units (1,076,408 passenger cars, 220,199 utility vehicles, 83091 MPVs) while the commercial vehicles sales grew by 33.28% to reach 467,882 units.

Having been early to recognise India's potential, Suzuki partnered with the Government of India to establish Maruti Udyog Limited (now named Maruti Suzuki India Limited, and an SMC subsidiary) whose Gurgaon plant began producing cars in December 1983.

Suzuki Concept A-Star: back view.

A-segment city car with a new 1.0-litre aluminium petrol engine.

The production model of the Concept A-Star will be manufactured at Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant, and will be marketed mainly in Europe and other countries including India. Production is scheduled to start in October 2008.

The new 1.0-litre aluminium engine will be produced by Maruti Suzuki India, and a manual transmission for it will be manufactured by Suzuki Powertrain India, another SMC subsidiary that's based beside Maruti Suzuki India's Manesar plant.

Suzuki Powertrain India also produces a 1.3-litre diesel engine, but SMC announced that it does not plan to use it in the new production car as the new 1.0-litre petrol engine is environmentally superior. SMC is studying options for small diesel engines for production by Suzuki Powertrain India in the future.

Given the importance of India to the Suzuki world strategy, the Corporation is investing substantially in Maruti Suzuki between 2007-2009. It plans to expand production capacity to 960,000 units per year by March 2010.

Concept A-Star is the first concept car in which designers from Maruti Suzuki India's research and development division have been involved from the initial stage of its styling. As such, it is also a showcase of Maruti Suzuki India's capabilities.

You can also see Suzuki's interesting concept cars at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

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