Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, which sells half the new cars in India, plans to show a concept compact car dubbed A-Star at the auto show here in January, the first time an entire car has been styled by its engineers.
The A-Star will form the basis of a global compact car that parent Suzuki Motor Co. is planning to produce in India. Maruti will likely make about 200,000 such cars annually, starting 2009. About half will be exported to Europe.
Concept cars are typically one-off models used to test customer response to design as well as act as a preview of the likely shape and style of the eventual vehicle. For instance, the Swift model is based on Concept S, which was shown at shows some three years prior to launch.
All the cars Maruti sells in India have been almost wholly designed by Suzuki in Japan, with the exception of the Swift, which had a significant contribution from the Indian unit. Suzuki is building a research and development centre in India, the largest after Japan, complete with a test track and crash-testing facilities.
Maruti didn’t provide a photograph of the concept vehicle.