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Old 6th June 2007, 22:51   #1
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Talking Another 1 lakh car from Suzuki.

NIRBHAY KUMAR
Posted online: Thursday, December 07, 2006 at 0136 hours IST


NEW DELHI, DEC 6: Suzuki Motor Corporation, 54% owner of India’s largest carmaker Maruti Udyog, is developing a 660cc engine and a new low-cost small car platform from scratch to counter the Tata Motors Rs 1 lakh car( cost US 2,200$ ). With it, Suzuki hopes to provide the most formidable competition to date to Ratan Tata’s dream project.
Being developed under a blanket of secrecy at its headquarters in Hamamatsu in Japan, the car will roll out of Maruti’s Gurgaon plant by the end of 2008—around the same time that Tata Motors plans to launch its new small car. “We are working on a mini car which would be lower than 800cc in engine capacity,” Maruti’s director, sales & marketing Shuji Oishi confirmed to FE.


Suzuki believes it will be able to price the car in the same bracket as the Tata small car. Tata Motors managing director Ravi Kant has admitted that his company’s car may be priced higher than the Rs 1 lakh target due to increasing raw material costs. “The Tata car would be higher than Rs 1.25 lakh. Our car would be priced competitively but the price won’t be Rs 1 lakh,” Oishi said.
The Suzuki and the Tata cars will be the first sub-800cc cars in the Indian market. The Suzuki car will offer over 50 bhp power with a 660cc petrol engine. In comparison, the Tata small car is expected to offer 30 bhp with a 700cc petrol engine. The 796cc Maruti 800 offers 37 bhp, while the Alto 800 offers 47 bhp.
While the Suzuki vehicle will be a geared, front-wheel driven car, the Tata car has an ungeared (continuous variable transmission) engine at the back powering the rear wheels. “Our car will be far more fuel-efficient than any car in the segment,” Oishi said. Maruti 800, currently India’s most fuel-efficient car, offers a mileage of 18-20 km a litre.
Suzuki Motor recently launched its mini car Cervo in Japan, which is powered by a 660cc engine offering 54 bhp. Its turbo-charged variant offers 60 bhp, more power than the Alto and the Maruti 800 and nearly the same as Wagon R’s 64 bhp. Cervo meets Japan’s 4-star emission standards and exceeds the 2010 fuel economy standards by about 10%. Japan imposes concessional duty on cars up to 660cc engine capacity to promote use of small, fuel-efficient cars in the country. As a result, Suzuki, the largest small car player in Japan, has several mini cars (up to 660cc) such as the Alto Lapin, the MR Wagon and the Twin in the domestic market.

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Old 6th June 2007, 23:10   #2
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Gosh, now I am wondering if there will be any place for even pedestrians to set foot on roads if these two 1L cars are launched. How many of you pitching in to build a track where we can take out our cars on a daily basis? Thats the only possible solution to drive our cars it looks like.
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Old 7th June 2007, 00:59   #3
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Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
Gosh, now I am wondering if there will be any place for even pedestrians to set foot on roads if these two 1L cars are launched.

Do you seriously believe that our pedestrians were just waiting to spend their lakh on a car ? I would think that some of the bikers would move over to the cars.
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Old 7th June 2007, 01:27   #4
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Even that will mean too many cars on the road E_L. Along with that will come further parking woes, bigger jams, more pollution etc. However it may also mean a more streamline traffic if the number of bikers reduce on the road as a car will probably not yield so easily to these guys calisthenics capabilities on a bike in busy traffic.

On a different note, it seems like suzuki (and by extension Maruti) has conceded a subtle point to the Tatas. Mr Khattar almost ridiculed the idea a year back when he said that it is almost impossible to design and build a car from scratch for that low a price. He would like to see how Tatas do it. Now they have "seen" it I guess.

Another subtle thing to note here is that the Tatas must be pretty close to showing off the finished product now. All companies keep track of the internal happenings of their competitors. Maruti has surely got a whiff of the final product and have started moving now that they know it is not a pipedream of Mr Tata. Alas, they miscalculated again. Years back when Mr Tata made that comment about how he dreams to produce a car that is as big and comfy as an amby and costs like a M800 everybody including Maruti laughed it off as an imbecile's blabbering. Arguably, Tatas did not have any car making capabilities at that stage and hence the misread. They should have known better by now.
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Old 7th June 2007, 03:54   #5
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They don't need to DEVELOP a 660cc engine, they already have a few with them.
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Old 7th June 2007, 07:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo
... it seems like suzuki (and by extension Maruti) has conceded a subtle point to the Tatas. Mr Khattar almost ridiculed the idea a year back when he said that it is almost impossible to design and build a car from scratch for that low a price. He would like to see how Tatas do it. Now they have "seen" it I guess.
More than subtle. Ratan Tata looks to have proved himself.
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Old 7th June 2007, 08:46   #7
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vaise bikers will never move to cars. Bike riders might I've owned a car for 9 years now, and my bike riding has only gone up from the earlier days.

I do think the govt must levy heavy taxation on gasoline driven personal transportaion, and give breaks on either public transportation (make lots of those Volvos possible) or alternative energy sources cars. I include my Pulsar in the former category, btw.
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Old 7th June 2007, 09:01   #8
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More tax on already heavily taxed gas?? :O
How about we all push for progressive ideals like building more paved roads, widening existing roads and instilling some traffic discipline instead of coming up with ideas that make that makes cars unaffordable for most of the Indian junta, which are regressive in my opinion?
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Old 7th June 2007, 10:24   #9
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I am very sure that these 1L cars are going to be boringly conventional in design and safety and comfort level will be screwed up.
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Old 7th June 2007, 10:54   #10
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If i had 1L and had an option to upgrade to a car, I'd go for a 2nd hand M800 AC or Alto rather than these options.
My 2 cents.
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Old 7th June 2007, 11:41   #11
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Got this very interesting link from a friend on concept utility car designs.

Product Design Forums / industrial design community




Cheers
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Old 7th June 2007, 21:04   #12
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Kei cars were present in japan since long, so what prevented Suzuki from giving us the Keijidosha engines all this time. Just because its only now that they see the Homegrown carmaker slug it out to offer a car in that category?

Last edited by 1100D : 7th June 2007 at 21:05.
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Old 7th June 2007, 21:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclaren1885 View Post
..How many of you pitching in to build a track where we can take out our cars on a daily basis? Thats the only possible solution to drive our cars it looks like.
I'm game if a goat track with 300m electrified fencing is exclusively planned for these 1-lakhers. My funding is subject to all 2 & 3 wheelers being forced to use the same track as well.

Its nice to see India Shining, but one man's shine is another's driving nightmare.
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Old 8th June 2007, 10:44   #14
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There are a few points here...

One, it costs (more or less the same) top manufacture a elegant car as an ugly car! There might be cases where a few percentage was added in the design stage. But that is as expensive as it gets (as long as there is nothing unusually expensive in the design). Hence Tata's one lakh car need not necessarily look bad! In fact I have heard that it will finally strip the 800 of its ages in looks from somebody seen it!

Secondly... Suzuki has got 660 cc engines in Japan. But it is bit ambitious to think that those engines can be produced here and can be fitted and sold on a vehicle which might cost 1.5 lakhs. I don't think the equations are as simple as that. If it was it was a terrible mistake from Maruti to wait till Tata took all this initiative and effort.


Realistically I would think the new car will be a cheaper and more modern car than the Maruti at a cheaper price. I would not worry about whether it costs exactly one lakh or not!
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Old 8th June 2007, 10:44   #15
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Quote:
The Suzuki car will offer over 50 bhp power with a 660cc petrol engine.
Umm. Turbo?

Its obvious that only Suzuki or Tata can offer a truly low-cost car while some motorcycle makers may also be able to match the costing. For the rest of the automobile world....they are yet wondering how to match the Alto, Santro and Indica in pricing or value.

I have my doubts whether these one lac cars will actually equate to a one lac price when they are launched. Guesstimates already peg it at anywhere between 1.3 - 1.6 lacs. Thats when you will have two alternates for some (majority?) potential customers:

1. A brand new Maruti 800 (and a propah car!) at a 30% incremental price.

OR

Quote:
Originally Posted by toiingg View Post
If i had 1L and had an option to upgrade to a car, I'd go for a 2nd hand M800 AC or Alto rather than these options.

Last edited by GTO : 8th June 2007 at 10:45.
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