Maruti Suzuki plans to expand its service network by over 56% in the next few years as it looks to defend its dominant position in India's expanding passenger vehicle market.

Suzuki Motor chairman and CEO Toshihiro Suzuki told reporters in Japan the automaker expects to have a network of 5,000 service centres across India by 2020, up from 3,200 in 1,667 towns and cities at present. 

Of these, 3,000 outlets will be 3S (sales, service and spare parts) dealerships while 2,000 will be solely service centres.

India is Suzuki's most important market worldwide, with last year's 1.44m sales accounting for around 40% of total vehicle sales in the country and over 50% of the passenger vehicle market.

India also accounted for close to 50% of Suzuki's global auto sales last year, according to local reports.

Toshihiro Suzuki acknowledged the company was working hard to retain this dominance in the face of rising competition from both domestic and foreign brands.