Maruti Suzuki has launched the Kizashi sedan in India as a built-up import but may assemble or build it locally later.

The company thinks the sporty sedan segment is growing and the new offering will help it to establish brand equity.

“This segment is barely 2.8% of the total Indian car market, therefore, we are not looking at any big volumes,” managing director Shinzo Nakanishi told just-auto. The Kizashi will compete against Skoda models, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

The company is known more for manufacturing low priced volume driven models in India and this is its first entry into the higher leagues.

First cars come from the Sagara plant in Japan. Asked about importing the vehicle CBU which attracts high import duty, Nakanishi said, “We know the market is developing for this kind of segment in India and we are considering assembly in India once volumes pick up.”

The model has already been launched in Japan, US and parts Europe of Europe and India takes the same 2.4-litre I4 engine and manual or CVT automatic transmissions.

Asked about launching another small car in India, he said only: “We will continue to focus on the small car market.”

Maruti is known to be working on an Indian designed car to be launched in 2012 to maintain its grip on the small car market. It is also gearing up to commission its second plant by the end of 2011 with monthly capacity raised to 250,000 units.