Maruti Suzuki has said all its models, including the 800 and Omni, are going through various modifications or upgrades to meet new Bharat Stage IV emission rules.

"Our new K series engines are very efficient compared to previous generation engines. So, we are now working on all existing engines to improve the after treatment on emission of the gases," Maruti Suzuki managing executive officer (engineering) IV Rao told the Economic Times of India after launching the new Ritz, India's version of the Hungarian-built European Suzuki Splash/Opel-Vauxhall Agila.

"We are basically working on catalysers on the same engines for different models to meet the Bharat stage norms that will come into effect from April 2010," Rao said.

Responding reports that Maruti would phase out the 800 (based on a late 1970s Suzuki Alto design) and Omni models by 2015, Rao said: "We are working to upgrade the Maruti 800 and Omni besides developing compliant models to meet the new emission norms."

"Based on preliminary tests, we are confident that we will be able to comply both Maruti and Omni with Bharat Stage emissions norms, which means it will not only meet BS norms, but it will continue beyond 2010," Rao said.

Maruti Suzuki has plans to roll out its first indigenous model in the next three years, he told the paper, adding "we are developing a new model on existing platform, all by our engineers at Maruti in India."

"We have just started the initial activities for this model and its likely to take about three years to functionalise," Rao told ETI, adding: "Regarding segment, what type of model, what engine are being still debated and discussed.

"We are doing the basic discussions with our marketing division to identify the exact positioning of this model, based on which we would be developing the concept," Rao said.

He said Maruti was increasing engineers at R&D centres in the country from 720 to 1,000 by March 2010, hiring a balance of fresh and experienced recruits.

Maruti Suzuki would also have an additional engineering centre in Haryana on 500 acres. "We now have our engineering centre in Gurgaon plant which also caters for Manesar plant. We are now looking at land for setting up the proving grounds," he said.

"It will be for a crash facility, test tracks, evaluation of new models and other facilities for testing the performance of the vehicle and its durability," Rao added.