Suzuki Offers Indian - Made Small Car To Drivers In Japan

Suzuki offers Indian-made small car to drivers in JapanSuzuki Motor Corp. released the Baleno, a subcompact hatchback produced in India, to Japanese consumers for the first time on March 9.
“We are producing the Baleno in India because we can sell the most units there,” Suzuki Motor CEO Osamu Suzuki said at a news conference in Tokyo, which was also attended by Indian Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy.

“The local plant has reached the level of Japanese factories and it is more cost-efficient than producing the cars in Japan.”

Produced by New Delhi subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., the Baleno is a model that Suzuki Motor plans to export worldwide. Sales kicked off in India in October.

The automaker decided to import the model to Japan to deal with the lack of variety in its domestic lineup in achieving its goal of selling 100,000 subcompact cars in Japan annually. The company sold approximately 76,000 subcompacts in 2015.

Half of Suzuki Motor’s cars are made in India, but this is the first time the automaker will be selling vehicles assembled there since production in India began in 1983.

Suzuki Motor expects to sell 6,000 units a year in Japan, but with many consumers choosing Japanese-made products, not everyone is optimistic.

“We don’t know yet how consumers will assess Indian-made cars,” the owner of a Suzuki Motor dealership said.

The Baleno has an engine displacement of 1.2 liters and is priced at 1.41 million yen ($12,500).

Suzuki Motor is a leading manufacturer of minicars in the domestic market.