Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the largest carmaker by sales volume in the country, now mulls a piece of the segment currently dominated by Tata Motors.
Maruti will introduce small trucks as it seeks to gain market share at the expense of segment leader Tata Motors even as the sector has registered a drop in demand during the past two years. The local unit of Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp. will bring to India’s market in the span of just four months several models that can carry a payload of around one ton – with the vehicles being marketed and sold through separate showrooms, according to Chairman R.C. Bhargava’s recent comments in New Delhi. “We will start slow as it’s a totally new ball game for not just our dealers but also our own people,” Bhargava said. “We are focusing on our vehicles being reliable and economical.” The executive added the models would be first introduced in larger metropolis and will have a complete set of powertrain options, including gasoline, diesel and natural gas engines.
As new entrants in a previously untapped segment, Maruti will have to deal with Tata’s dominance, with the latter owning around 84 percent of the market for trucks with a capacity to carry two tons or less. The introduction comes under auspicious times, with a report issued by ICRA Ltd., the local division of Moody’s Investors Service forecasting that after a two-year slowdown, the commercial vehicle deliveries are preparing for a turnaround thanks to improved freight rates and the overall economy recovery.