Based in Gurgaon, India, Maruti Suzuki India Limited is Suzuki's largest and most valuable subsidiary with an annual production of 1,018,365 units in the fiscal 2009–2010. Suzuki has a 54.2% stake in the Indian auto giant and the rest is owned by the various Indian public and financial institutions. The company was incorporated in 1981 and is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. In 2005–2006, the company had a 54% market share of the passenger car market in India. Nearly 75,000 people are employed directly by Maruti and its partners.
Maruti Suzuki was born as a Government of India company, with Suzuki as a minor partner, to make a lower priced car for middle class India. Over the years, the product range has widened, ownership has changed hands and the customer has evolved.
Maruti Suzuki offers 14 models, ranging from India's one-time best selling car, Maruti 800, for less than INR 200,000 (US$ 5000) to the premium sedan Maruti Suzuki Kizashi and luxury SUV Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara. Maruti 800 was the first model launched by the company in 1983 followed by mini-van Maruti Omni in 1984. Both models were huge success in their respective categories because of the use of high-end technology and good fuel efficiency. Maruti Gypsy, launched in 1985, came into widespread use with the Indian Army and Indian Police Service becoming its primary customers. The short-lived Maruti 1000 too achieved moderate success until it was replaced by Maruti Esteem in 1994, to counter increasing competition in the medium-sedan category.
Maruti Zen, launched in 1993, was the company's second compact car model and also became extremely popular in India because of its high performance. The company went on to launch another compact car Maruti Wagon-R followed by Maruti Baleno in 1999. However, with increasing competition from Tata, Hyundai, Honda and Daewoo Motors, Maruti was not able to achieve the same success with Baleno as it had with its earlier models. So it replaced Maruti Suzuki Baleno with the Suzuki SX4. Currently Suzuki SX4 is facing stiff competition from the Honda City.
In 2000, Maruti Alto was launched. The launch of Tata Indica and Hyundai Santro had affected Maruti's sales but Alto helped secure the company's position as the auto leader in India. It is currently the largest selling car in India. The Maruti models include Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, launched in 2003, Maruti Versa, launched in 2004, Maruti Suzuki Swift, launched in 2005, Maruti Zen Estilo and Maruti Suzuki SX4, launched in 2007. The Alto, Swift and SX4 are leaders in their respective segments in the Indian Market.
On 14 February 2011, Maruti Suzuki India, a Suzuki subsidiary in India, announced that it achieved one million total accumulated production volume of the Alto. The Alto has reached the million units mark in just seven years and five months since its launch on September 2000. The last half of the million has come in a record 25 months. The Alto has been India's largest volume-selling car, every month, for the past 37 consecutive months. Its popularity has continued to grow since its launch, with customers attracted to its low price with fuel efficiency. With this the Alto became the third car in the Maruti Suzuki stable to cross the million units mark. Previously, the Maruti 800 and the Omni had exceeded the million units mark. Besides its success in India, over 152,000 Altos made at Maruti Suzuki were delivered internationally, enjoying good outcomes in Algeria and Chile.
Maruti Exports Limited is the subsidiary of Maruti Udyog Limited with its major focus on exports and it does not operate in the domestic Indian market. The first commercial consignment of 480 cars were sent to Hungary. By sending a consignment of 571 cars to the same country, Maruti crossed the benchmark of 3,000,000 cars. Since its inception export was one of the aspects the government has been keen to encourage. Every political party expected Maruti to earn foreign exchange. But compared to Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki is poor on export front.
Other subsidiary companies of the Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan in India are:
- Suzuki Powertrain India Limited: Manufacturers engines for cars
- Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited: Manufactures two wheelers under brand name 'Suzuki' and sells other Suzuki motorcycle models.
Read more about this topic: Suzuki
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