Chennai: The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki is mulling changing all engines in its range of entry level and A-plus segment cars to the latest KB Series engine which it unveiled last year, a top company executive said.
Currently, the new series of engines is being used in the latest models of the Maruti stable—Estilo, Ritz and the ‘A´ Star.
Asked whether all the entry level cars would be equipped with the KB Series engine, Maruti Suzuki India chairman R. C. Bhargava told PTI that it could happen over a period of time.
“It will not happen immediately. We cannot do that. It will happen over a period of time”, he said.
The KB Series engine, a part of the company’s efforts to offer the latest technology to customers, is produced from the KB Series engine plant at Gurgaon.
The all new, light-weight, engine series will be progressively introduced in other models over a period of next 3-5 years.
The KB engine plant at Gurgaon has an installed annual capacity of 240,000 engines.
To a query on investments proposed, he said, “we have to wait till the end of October. The whole project would come to the Board by October and after that we have to decide how to go forward. So we have to wait till the end of October to know what the investment is and what will come”.
Maruti Suzuki India last year said it would shift production from a plant at the Gurgaon factory in Haryana, to the factory at Manesar, 25km to its south, also in the same state.
The plant at the Gurgaon facility will be gradually changed to a base for engine assembly and machining, while the automobile assembly will be integrated at Manesar.
On the impact of the global meltdown, Bhargava said there were signs of recovery but cautioned that no body has said recovery has happened so far. “There are signs of recovery. It looks like recovery is happening but still nobody is saying that recovery has happened. That is our problem. Until recovery happens I can’t tell you how confident we are”.
Responding to a query on vehicle sales, he said, “it is always smooth (for us) so far and I hope it continues to be smooth. I can’t predict that it will be on the same path. It may happen, it may not”.
Stating that Maruti’s strengths were its reach across the country, Bhargava said, “I think Maruti’s strength is in that area in terms of reach to customers and our ability to provide service to customers at reasonable rates all over the country. That is what makes us generally to do better than any other (car) company”.
He said September and October were always good months for Maruti and hoped that it would be continued to be so.