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Suzuki to develop its own diesel technology

The Japanese car company Suzuki plans to develop in-house diesel engines but in the interim would look at outsourcing a sub-1 litre diesel for its models in India. Maruti-Suzuki sees huge potential for small diesel cars here and is looking for diesel technology to power its wide range of A-segment cars. Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director of Maruti-Suzuki, said “We cannot develop the technology in 2 to 3 years. It will take us at least 10 years to acquire the knowledge to make world-class diesels.”

In the interim period, Suzuki is open to outsourcing its diesel power trains, a strategy which has given it a quick entry into the diesel car market. The Swift diesel is one of the most popular diesel cars and comes powered with the celebrated 1.3 Fiat Multi-jet.

The current A-segment is devoid of any diesel car but that will soon change with the arrival of the Nano diesel late next year and the i10 with its three-cylinder diesel motor in January 2009. Maruti could be vulnerable with no diesel option in its core segment, especially now that the price difference between petrol and diesel is unlikely to narrow. And with India becoming the largest market for Suzuki in the world, its crucial for India’s number one car company to have a strong diesel presence.

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