Maruti Suzuki has begun exports of the new Baleno hatchback to Japan ahead of launch there next month.

The Indian outpost is no stranger to exports and has previously made a version of one of its cars for Nissan but, according to a Press Trust of India/Economic Times report, this is the first time an Indian Suzuki model has been exported to the parent company in Japan.

The first consignment comprised 1,800 units and was shipped from Mundra Port in Gujarat, where Suzuki Motor is setting up a manufacturing plant to supply cars to Maruti.

Maruti also plans to export the Baleno to over 100 countries.