Often flying under the radar due to its small presence in Europe and China, as well as its withdrawal from the US market, Suzuki Motor Corporation is something of a stealthy giant. Its dominance of the rapidly expanding Indian market, the strength of its mini-vehicle sales in Japan and a strategy of remaining fiercely independent after a bust-up with Volkswagen mark out SMC as one of the world’s most unusual and successful OEMs.

India – beyond two million sales a year

Unusually, the new factory does not involve Maruti but is wholly owned by Suzuki and supplies cars to Maruti Suzuki.

SMC announced in May that it intended to double the annual production capacity at its newest Indian car factory and establish an engine plant on site. Hansalpur Plant 1 in Ahmedabad was opened in 2015. Gujarat 2, an additional vehicle factory, is to become operational by 2019, lifting Suzuki’s manufacturing capacity in Gujarat to 500,000 vehicles per annum. Unusually, this factory does not involve Maruti Suzuki (MSIL) but is wholly owned by Suzuki and supplies cars to MSIL.

15 September update: SMC announced that it will not only now add a third car plant at Hansalpur by 2020, but it also intends to produce lithium-ion batteries at the complex in partnership with Denso and Toshiba. The statement was made by company chairman Osamu Suzuki in the presence of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. The third car plant will lift SMC’s capacity to 750,000 units a year from the existing 250,000. This is on top of the existing 1.5m combined capacity of the Maruti factories in Haryana.

Back in May, Kenichi Ayukawa, who is the managing director and CEO of Maruti, told the media that the overall aim would be to have the capacity to build as many as two million vehicles a year by 2020. In fact, given what had already been announced, the total would be more than that, as Maruti’s two factories in Haryana (Manesar and Gurgaon) can already produce 1,550,000 units between them.

MSIL, in which Suzuki Motor has a 56 per cent controlling stake, sold more than 1.56m vehicles during the Indian fiscal year which ended on 31 March. It has some 2,000 vehicle showrooms throughout the country. A big factor in its plans to further dominate the local market lies in a demographic trend: fully 65 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion citizens are under the age of 35 so Maruti sees a massive opportunity to connect with this new generation of potential owners.

The comments made back in May by Kenichi Ayukawa were then echoed by Maruti Suzuki’s chairman. Addressing shareholders at the 36th Annual General Meeting earlier in September, R C Bhargava said he saw a further continued strong expansion of the Indian economy and with it, double-digit rises in GDP for the next few years at least. MSIL, he added, would “certainly” meet its stated target of two million vehicles deliveries a year by 2020.

During the first five months of the current fiscal year Maruti Suzuki’s sales have outpaced the overall market, to the extent that its share reached 51 per cent during the 1 April to 31 August period. In August alone, the six best selling models were Suzukis, and the brand took seven places in the top ten.

Japan – the king of Kei cars

Along with Daihatsu, SMC is the most successful of Japan’s 660cc Kei class vehicle manufacturers.

While Volkswagen AG’s management recently wondered aloud at the Frankfurt IAA how it might find new ways to make money out of marginally profitable A segment cars, Suzuki just gets on with it. Along with Daihatsu, SMC is the most successful of Japan’s 660cc Kei class vehicle manufacturers. Its secret, copied by Honda with its tiny N-Box family of cars, is in offering multiple models, each with the lowest possible fuel consumption and to keep adding to and replacing these vehicles, year in, year out.

As at the end of August, Suzuki held third place in the Japanese market, having delivered 457,597 vehicles compared to 476,173 for Honda and 1,083,680 for Toyota. In fourth position was Nissan, with 435,774, ahead of Daihatsu (426,841). By way of showing just how weighted SMC’s performance is by Kei cars, these contributed 381,184 of the total. The brand holds 30.6 per cent of the segment, versus 33.0 per cent for Daihatsu (410,520). Sources: JADA and Japan Mini Vehicles Association

China and Europe – could do better

In China, Suzuki is a minor brand even though SMC has a manufacturing joint venture with Changan. Year to date it languishes in 40th position, placing it below Volvo, Mitsubishi, HaiMa, MG and Venucia. The best selling model is the Vitara but it remains just outside the ranks of the top 200 models, with registrations averaging fewer than 2,000 units per month.

Europe-wide sales are also small even though Suzuki is the 19th best performing make in the region ahead of Mazda but a long way behind Volvo. The number one model is the Vitara/Grand Vitara, followed by the Swift. Things have been improving, it should be said, with ACEA reporting a 23.3 per cent rise in August to 16,261 registrations. That was enough to push the brand ahead of Volvo and up to a 1.5 per cent share (YtD) compared to 1.3 per cent a year earlier. With 163,184 vehicles delivered, Suzuki is almost 8,000 units ahead of Mazda for the year to date and has sold more than twice as many vehicles as Mitsubishi Motors. It should also be noted that little Suzuki is easily outselling JLR (146,345), with some of that also due to the slump in Jaguar sales (down 33% in August) which even saw Lexus outselling the leaping cat outsold across Europe last month.

Kei cars

Suzuki continues to consolidate its platforms, moving most of its front- and all-wheel drive small vehicles onto its Heartect architecture.

Suzuki continues to consolidate its platforms, moving most of its front- and all-wheel drive small vehicles onto its Heartect architecture. Nonetheless, there are still many models which use the platform which has been around since the introduction of the Palette back in 2008.

There are multiple Kei models sold in Japan which use the older architecture, including the Hustler, Spacia & Spacia Custom, Wagon R & Wagon R Stingray and MR-Wagon. The same platform underpins certain other small cars sold outside Japan, such as the Celerio/Cultus as well as the Karimun WagonR & Stingray.

The current WagonR and WagonR Stingray are the domestic market’s main models for the lightweight Heartect architecture. The sixth generation of this big selling Kei car series went on sale in Japan in February. This small car should eventually be made in India too, albeit with a larger engine than the 660cc one fitted to the Japan-spec models. Whereas all previous generations had been badged as the Wagon R, the latest one is known as the WagonR. As well as the basic variants, there is also a sports WagonR Stingray which has unique stying, as well as mild hybrid derivatives. The latter use stored electricity to power the vehicle from rest.

The Alto is another long-running model series in Japan (and elsewhere). The eighth generation of this five-door hatchback was announced by Suzuki in December 2014. It went on sale immediately in Japan. The car is 60kg lighter than the previous model, version for version. All are powered by revised versions of the R06A three-cylinder petrol engine. The Alto Works, a sports variant, was revealed at October 2015’s Tokyo motor show. The ninth generation Alto is due in 2019.

Some but not all of Suzuki’s Kei models are on a seven-year life cycle. This applies to the third generation of the Lapin. This little hatchback went on sale in Japan, its main market, in June 2015. Its replacement will also be Heartect-based.

A potential future model in the form of a Kei class pick-up might be launched in Japan next year. Suzuki could well be seeking to revive the niche which it found in the 1980s with its tiny Mighty Boy pick-up. The Mighty Deck, a concept, was revealed at October 2015’s Tokyo motor show. Look to this year’s show for a possible pre-production version.

If the Mighty Deck goes into production it would see the continuation of the trend where Suzuki shows potential additional models at the Tokyo show.

If the Mighty Deck does go into production it would see the continuation of a trend whereby Suzuki shows its thoughts for potential additional models at the Tokyo show. That’s what happened with the Hustler. This mini-crossover went on sale in Japan in January 2014. It had been seen as a concept at the Tokyo motor show two months previously.

The Hustler is powered by a 658cc three-cylinder engine. Both 38kW and turbocharged 47kW versions are available, each with a standard CVT and the option of front- or all-wheel drive. The Mazda Flair Crossover, launched simultaneously with the Hustler, is built by Suzuki at its Sagara plant and supplied to one of Mazda’s domestic market sales channels.

A minor facelift for the Hustler was revealed at October 2015’s Tokyo motor show. A long-wheelbase variant may appear later this year. The second generation Hustler should then be released in 2020.

The current MR-Wagon, which is almost at the end of its life, is the third model to have had this name. It went on sale in Japan in January 2011. Both (40kW) naturally aspirated and turbocharged (47kW) three-cylinder engines are offered. The Nissan Moco is supplied by Suzuki and is a variant of the MR-Wagon. Expect generation four to be launched at the Tokyo show in October.

Yet another Kei vehicle is the Spacia. This replacement for the Palette was launched in Japan, its main market, in February 2013. A 660cc MPV, it uses the same platform as the Palette. As was the case with the previous model, no mid-life refresh is expected. Instead, the vehicle should have a five-year lifecycle. Suzuki supplies the Flair Wagon, a version of the Spacia, to Mazda’s Japanese dealer network. A sportier derivative, the Suzuki Spacia Custom, went on sale in Japan in June 2013. The next generation Spacia and Spacia Custom should appear in 2018. Like the current models, they should be manufactured at Kosai.

A segment SUVs

Suzuki has a wealth of a segment SUVs though a few of them are way, way overdue for replacement and consequently sell in only small numbers. A case in point is the Maruti Gypsy. This ladder frame model is derived from the Suzuki Jimny that went on sale in Japan in 1982. In some export markets, it was called the Suzuki Samurai. The Gypsy is expected to finally have a successor in 2018.

As for the Jimny, there are two versions of this small SUV. In Japan, it is available in 660 cc Kei form as well as a 1.3-litre version that is identical to export models.

In November 2010, Suzuki’s partner in Brazil announced that it intended to assemble the Jimny in the country from 2012. Production got underway in the third quarter of that year.

A facelifted Jimny was announced in July 2012. China was its first market. The Brazilian-built model also received this facelift.

The new Jimny is expected to appear at the Tokyo motor show in October and to be manufactured exclusively by Maruti Suzuki India in Gurgaon.

The replacements for the Suzuki Jimny and Jimny Sierra have been delayed many times. The X-Lander concept at the 2013 Tokyo motor show is likely to have been a preview of some of the styling elements of the next generation model. This is now expected to appear at the Tokyo motor show in October and to be manufactured exclusively by Maruti Suzuki India in Gurgaon. Exports would be to the UK, Japan, Brazil and other markets where the aged current model is still available. Suzuki’s 1.0-litre BoosterJet petrol unit should be the standard engine.

A segment hatchbacks

Starting with the Alto 800, this small hatchback with an engine capacity which doesn’t need to be guessed at, was launched in India in October 2012, replacing Maruti’s then 12 year old Alto. It remains one of several cars sold in India as the Alto and is produced in Haryana at the Gurgaon manufacturing complex. A facelifted car went on sale in May 2016. The eventual replacement model, which should appear in 2020, might become a crossover rather than a hatchback. The (1.0-litre) Alto K10 was added in 2014 and is based on the Alto 800. It too should have a successor in 2020.

Pakistan was the third country to produce the Wagon R at Suzuki’s overseas production bases.

A car based on Japan’s previous (Generation 5) Wagon R is built by Pak Suzuki Motor at a factory in suburban Karachi. Assembly began there in April 2014. Pakistan was the fourth country to produce the Wagon R at Suzuki’s overseas production bases if you count the ancient Northstar (adapted first generation Wagon R) built in China commencing from 2001.

The made-in-Karachi Wagon R is 205mm longer than the car which was built in Japan between 2012 and January 2017. It was modified to accommodate a 1.0-litre petrol engine. Pak Suzuki will likely continue to make the Wagon R until 2020, at which time it should be replaced by the latest, sixth generation model. Suzuki is not due to launch a generation seven Wagon R in Japan until 2022.

An even older model, the fourth generation Wagon R (codename: YR9) is also still in production. It is built by Maruti, production at Gurgaon having commenced back in April 2010, two years after its debut in the Japanese market. Maruti’s first generation Wagon R was sold in India between 1999 and March 2010, during which time some 800,000 vehicles were built. India’s current Wagon R was launched with Suzuki’s K10B petrol engine. Maruti added the sporty Stingray variant in August 2013, hoping to attract younger buyers.

Indonesia’s Karimun Wagon R and Stingray are more or less the same cars as Maruti’s Wagon R and Stingray. These are manufactured at SIM’s Tambun plant and should continue to be built there until their replacements arrive in 2021.

The one other model in the A segment is the Celerio. Developed in Japan, it was the replacement for the Alto/A-Star in certain countries. The car had its world premiere at February 2014’s Delhi motor show and production for the local and export markets takes place at Manesar. Pak Suzuki also produces the Celerio in Karachi (since April 2017 and sold locally as the Cultus), and the car has also been built in Rayong since May 2015. Celerios for Europe come from the Thai plant.

The next generation Celerio should change platforms to Heartect.

Maruti is said to be planning to add build of the Celerio at its Hansalpur Plant 1 in Gujarat. The car itself, which is codenamed YL7, should have a facelift in 2018 and be replaced in 2021. The next generation Celerio should change platforms to Heartect.

B segment sedans, hatchbacks & SUV

Suzuki has a far smaller range in the sub-compact/B segment. The least popular of its four sedans/hatchbacks is the China-only Liana A6. This successor to the local market’s Liana premiered at November 2013’s Guangzhou motor show. The A6, a sedan and five-door hatchback range, is manufactured by the Changhe Suzuki joint venture. Having already had a mid-cycle styling freshening, the next news should be the arrival of a successor model in 2021. This too shall be manufactured at the Jingdezhen JV plant in the province of Jiangxi.

As far as B segment crossovers are concerned, Suzuki has just the one. This is the 3.7m long Ignis, developed under the YBA project code. The model, which is smaller than the Vitara Brezza but larger than the Jimny, had its world premiere in prototype form at October 2015’s Tokyo motor show.

Japan was the car’s first market, production at the Sagara plant commencing in January 2016, and sales the following month. Both front- and four-wheel drive variants are sold in Japan, with the standard engine being a 1.2-litre Dualjet. This engine also has what Suzuki calls SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki). This is a mild hybrid system in which an electric motor supplements the engine during acceleration.

Maruti Suzuki added Ignis production from the fourth quarter of 2016. Suzuki Europe began selling the Ignis from January 2017 and the car also went on sale in the Indian market during the same month.

Maruti Suzuki’s Ignis is likely to be one of the first models to be fitted with the company’s own 1.5-litre diesel engine.

Maruti Suzuki’s Ignis is likely to be one of the first models to be fitted with the company’s own 1.5-litre diesel engine. This is not expected to be ready until 2018.

The next generation Ignis is due in 2021, which would be three years after the current model is facelifted. It will also be based on the Heartect architecture.

YRA, which is the Baleno, is larger than the Ignis. This 3,995mm long five-door hatchback is sold mainly in India. There, it is a rival for the Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz. Its global debut was at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015 with Indian market sales commencing from the following month.

The Baleno was the first model to be manufactured at Suzuki’s own Hansalpur plant near Mehsana on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. This facility started with one line in February (2017) but two further lines are planned. The initial capacity is 250,000 vehicles per annum. The car is also manufactured at Manesar in Haryana.

Exports to Europe commenced in February 2016, followed a month later by shipments to Japan.

The Baleno is due for a facelift in the second quarter of 2018. The next generation model should be on sale in Japan during the fourth quarter of 2021.

The seventh generation Swift is another model which uses Heartect. So too is the Dzire, which is the sedan version sold mainly in the Indian market. The five-door hatchback went on sale in its first market, Japan, in January (2017). There, two petrol engines previously seen in the Baleno are offered: a 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo and a 1.2-litre Dualjet mild hybrid. 

For generation seven, not only weight was reduced (from 910kg) but also length. The car is 10mm shorter than the former Swift, though the wheelbase is longer, while width and height are identical to the sixth generation model.

The Dzire is off to a tremendous start and even overtook the Alto to become the best selling vehicle in India during August 2017.

After Suzuki opened Gujarat 1 in January 2017, the Baleno was the first model to come off the line there. Production of around 85,000 units a year is said to be the company’s expectation. The remainder of the factory’s initial annual capacity of 150,000 units is said to be reserved for the Dzire which entered production in April. The sedan is off to a tremendous start and even overtook the Alto to become the best selling vehicle in India during August 2017. The market hit its second highest level yet, outpaced only by the number of vehicles sold during the previous month. Dzire sales in August totalled 30,934, enough to make the nameplate the number two for the year to date, with 126,491 sales. The Alto led overall as at the end of August, its total being 169,943.

The Dzire is 3,995mm long (identical to the Baleno) and has the same 2,450mm wheelbase as the Swift. In common with the previous generation model, the Dzire is expected to account for around 40% of sales in its segment of the Indian market. Given how strongly it is already selling, Maruti’s forecast from early in 2017 may be pessimistic.

Returning to the Swift and unlike the previous model, the latest one is not built in Hungary: cars for the European region are sourced from Sagara in Japan. Sales for EU and EFTA markets commenced in June 2017.

The Swift Sport pictured above has just had its world premiere at the Frankfurt IAA. The car goes on sale in Japan later that in September but it will not reach European markets until March. Weight is 80kg less than the previous Swift Sport (now 970kg), torque is up by 70Nm to 230Nm and power from the turbocharged 1.4-litre engine is 103kW.

The Vitara Brezza was the first model fully developed by Maruti Suzuki, rather than adapted by the division from a design developed by SMC.

One other B segment model and certainly not a vehicle to be overlooked is the Vitara Brezza. This crossover was the first model fully developed by Maruti Suzuki, rather than adapted by the division from a design developed by SMC. As such it was also the first Suzuki vehicle project led by an Indian chief engineer. Revealed at the Delhi auto expo in February 2016, it has been manufactured by Maruti Suzuki since March 2016.

The model’s 3,995mm length means it slips below a tax threshold in the Indian market. The first versions were powered by a 1,248cc four-cylinder diesel engine which produces 66kW and 200Nm. This so called 200 DDIS engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. There are also petrol variants and these too are manufactured in India but all are exported. Suzuki’s own 1.5-litre diesel should replace the Fiat unit in 2018. After that, the next update for the Brezza should be a facelift in 2019. There will probably also be a hybrid powertrain.

The second generation Vitara Brezza will also be based on Heartect, although this will be an evolution of that platform. This is due for release in 2023. A battery-electric variant should feature too although there is a chance that a Brezza EV might appear in 2019 or 2020 as part of the post-facelifted current generation model.

C segment

Suzuki has only one model in the Compact class, the main reason for this being the relative unpopularity of sedans and hatchbacks of this size in the Indian market. The Ciaz, which is also known as the Alivio or Qi Yue, stepped in for the C/D segment Kizashi which was not a success in any market. The company began selling this sedan in Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and Mexico during 2014/2015. It has the same platform as that which underpins the SX4 S-Cross.

The car was initially previewed by the Authentics concept which premiered at the Shanghai motor show in April 2013. Suzuki announced at 2013 Auto Shanghai that the production model would made in China by Chongqing Changan Suzuki Automobile Company.

The model name is Ciaz in India and Alivio in China, while its Chinese name is Qi Yue.

A second prototype, this time named ‘Ciaz’ (and according to Maruti Suzuki pronounced ‘chee-aaz’) had its global debut at the Delhi motor show in February 2014. A third concept, the Alivio, premiered at April 2014’s Beijing motor show. It was powered by a 1,586cc petrol engine, and dimensions were quoted as follows: 4,545mm long, 1,730mm wide and 1,475mm high. The model name is Ciaz in India and Alivio in China, while its Chinese name is Qi Yue.

Series production of the Alivio by Changan Suzuki began during November 2014, just ahead of the local debut at the same month’s Guangzhou motor show. Cars began to reach customers in January 2015. Meanwhile, the Thai-built Ciaz had its public debut at March 2015’s Bangkok motor show and went into production three months later.

Maruti Suzuki launched the Ciaz SHVS in September 2015. This so-called Smart Hybrid is a diesel-electric mild hybrid and it replaced the Ciaz diesel.

A facelifted Alivio premiered at the Chengdu motor show in August. This should be the last update before the successor arrives in 2020 or 2021. However, before then, a five-door hatchback may be added, reviving the Liana model name.

Another model in the C segment is the Escudo, which is or was also known as the Vitara or Grand Vitara. The YT4 series five-door Escudo was launched in Japan in May 2005. It has a ladder frame, all-round independent suspension and full-time four-wheel drive.

A three-door variant of this SUV had its world premiere at the Frankfurt show in September 2005, where 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol variants were also shown, as well as a 1.9-litre Renault-supplied diesel. A V6 petrol engine reached Europe in September 2006. Unlike the Japanese market (2.7-litre) V6, this one displaced 2.5 litres.

In the USA, meanwhile, the Grand Vitara went on sale in September 2005 with a standard 185bhp 2.7-litre V6 and in five-door format only. The Grand Vitara was launched in India by Maruti Suzuki in July 2007 as an import.

A facelift for Japan’s Escudo was announced in June 2008 with a revised Grand Vitara following a few months later. The next news was in April 2010 when Iran Khodro began assembling this model. After this came a second facelift for the Japanese market Escudo (July 2012).

In November 2012, American Suzuki filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in California and announced its intention to cease selling cars and light trucks in the US market.

In March 2013, Suzuki Canada announced that the country’s 2014 model year would be its last. Cars were phased out during 2014.

Suzuki still sells the Grand Vitara in selected countries. The Australian importer, for example, takes more than a thousand units a year, even in 2017.

Suzuki still sells the Grand Vitara in selected countries. The Australian importer, for example, takes more than a thousand units a year, even in 2017. Production will probably cease in 2018. Given that the SX4/S-Cross does well in this size class, no direct replacement is expected.

YAA, which is the code for the SX4 (also sold as the SX4 S-Cross), has proved to be a strong seller in multiple countries. Suzuki revealed plans for this model at September 2012’s Paris motor show. The company unveiled the S-Cross concept which it said represented its intention to launch a new crossover in the C-segment from 2013. That meant a global rival for the Nissan Qashqai.

The vehicle had its debut in pre-production form at the Geneva motor show in March 2013. Depending on the market, it supplemented or replaced the smaller SX4. It is 165mm longer than that model. In Europe, 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines were originally offered.

As American Suzuki announced the winding up of car sales during late 2012, followed by Suzuki Canada stating in March 2013 that it would also cease vehicle sales during calendar 2014, Mexico is therefore the only North American market for the SX4: the S-Cross went on sale there in December 2013 for the 2014 model year.

Magyar Suzuki began building the SX4 S-Cross in August 2013. The UK, as Suzuki Motor Europe’s largest market, was one of the first export destinations. Annual production was set at the time of its introduction as being 100,000 units, of which 30,000 would be for Europe. The remainder are for Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Exports from the Hungarian plant to Japan commenced in February 2015.

The SX4 has been built and sold in China as the SX4 S-Cross since December 2013: the rest of the world’s former SX4 was given a facelift in China in April 2013 so should remain in production there for another few years. These are both built by Changan Suzuki at its Yudong plant in the city of Chongqing.

Maruti Suzuki launched the S-Cross in August 2015. This Indian-built model is available with two engine options: DDiS 200 or DDiS 320. This was the first model to be marketed and retailed through a division called NEXA, the idea being to sell it as a premium priced model. Maruti was the first Suzuki division to sell a facelifted S-Cross, the car going on sale in India during July 2016. Suzuki Europe began selling the facelifted S-Cross from October 2016, with 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre Boosterjet direct-injection turbo engines replacing the 1.6 petrol unit. The 1.6 DDiS engine continues to be available.

The next generation S-Cross is due to appear in 2020.

The next generation S-Cross is due to appear in 2020 but there might well be a second facelift for the existing model in 2018.

A-D segment MPVs

People movers, while no longer popular in Europe and some other regions, still sell well in the Indian market. Indeed, there are a fair few Maruti models available to buyers. The oldest of these is the Omni. This rear-wheel drive 800 cc micro passenger-van, long discontinued in its native Japan (where it first went on sale in 1979) continues to be made in relatively large numbers in India. Y9T, the Omni successor, is expected to be launched in India during early 2018. Production should be at Gurgaon.

Another Maruti model is the Eeco. This derivative of the Suzuki Carry/Every, first launched in Japan in 1999, is Maruti Suzuki’s replacement for the discontinued Versa, a small minivan. It had its world premiere at the New Delhi motor show in January 2010 and went on sale only days later. The launch engine was a 1.2-litre four-cylinder gasoline unit.

Both five- and seven-seater variants of the Eeco are available. Like the previous generation Every/Carry, the Eeco has a shorter wheelbase than Suzuki’s latest generation Every/Carry. This little RWD van should be replaced by a new Eeco in 2019.

YJC should be revealed at the next Auto Expo in New Delhi during the first quarter of 2018.

There is a chance that the YJC project, which does not yet have a known production model name, might be either the next Eeco or instead an additional MPV. It is said to be a stretched WagonR which can seat up to seven occupants even though the length will be sub-four metres. YJC should be revealed at the next Auto Expo in New Delhi during the first quarter of 2018.

The Ertiga, a Swift-based minivan, was added to Maruti Suzuki’s model range in April 2012. The vehicle was previewed by the RIII concept from January 2010’s New Delhi Auto Expo, with the production model following at the 2012 show.

In December 2011 a Maruti executive told the Indian media that the firm planned to ship Ertiga kits to Indonesia and Thailand for assembly at Suzuki plants there. The vehicle was launched in the Indonesian market in April 2012.

The Indian market Ertiga was launched with the choice of 1.4-litre petrol and 1.2-litre diesel engines (the latter is the Fiat-GM 1,248cc units that some manufacturers, including Maruti Suzuki, badge as a 1.3).

The Ertiga for the Thai market went on sale locally in March 2013. It is not locally assembled, as had been expected; rather, it is an import from Indonesia.

Suzuki also assembles the Mazda VX-1, a version of the Ertiga, for the Indonesian market. The Proton Ertiga is another version of the Suzuki original.

Suzuki also assembles the Mazda VX-1, a version of the Ertiga, for the Indonesian market. The Proton Ertiga is another version of the Suzuki original.

Suzuki Motor Corporation held an opening ceremony of its then new automobile assembly plant (Cikarang Plant) on 29 May, 2015, which was completed within the Greenland International Industrial Center (GIIC) located in Bekasi Regency, east of Jakarta, by PT. Suzuki Indomobil Motor (SIM) is Suzuki’s subsidiary in Indonesia. The Ertiga was the first vehicles to be built at Cikarang, SIM having transferred it from Tambun Plant (Bekasi Regency).

“By combining the Cikarang and Tambun plants, Suzuki’s total production ability of automobiles in Indonesia is approximately 250,000 units. Suzuki plans to gradually increase the ability by responding to the market trend”, a media release issued in May 2015 noted.

A third assembly plant for the Ertiga was announced by Suzuki in July 2015. Suzuki had an existing facility in Burma/Myanmar: the Rangoon plant run by SMMC/Suzuki (Myamar) Motor Co., Ltd. also assembles the Carry microvan.

A facelifted Ertiga had its world premiere at August 2015’s Indonesian motor show. Maruti Suzuki announced an identical facelift at the same time. Production should continue into the early 2020s, at which time an Ertiga replacement should appear, underpinned by an updated Heartect architecture.

A larger model, the APV for ASEAN Project Vehicle, is an eight-seater minivan. It went on sale in Indonesia during September 2004, with exports to other Asian markets commencing towards the end of that year. Both 1.5- and 1.6-litre engines are available. The APV’s first facelift was revealed at the Bangkok motor show in April 2008. The original APV model name has since been modified to ‘APV Arena‘. A second facelift appeared at the Jakarta motor show in September 2014. Suzuki supplied Mitsubishi Indonesia with a slightly restyled version, the Maven.

A new Arena is due to be released in 2018.

In the large minivan class, Suzuki has the Landy. The current generation went on sale in Japan, its main market, in December 2016. Like the previous Landy, it is supplied by Nissan Motor and is a version of that firm’s Serena. A facelifted model is due in 2019. The Landy replacement should appear in 2022 and it will most likely again be provided by Nissan Motor Kyushu although one of Mitsubishi Motors’ plants might instead be where it is sourced from as those OEMs continue to merge their future vehicle programmes.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.

The next OEM for just-auto’s in-depth examination of current and future models will be Mazda Motor Corporation.