Maruti to drive Baleno into EU to rev up exports

First shipment of premium hatchback to Europe is expected to commence in January  

Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker, is set to commence exports of its Baleno model to the European Union, in its second attempt to revive its presence in the region, according to a company official.

The first shipment of premium hatchback to Europe is expected to commence in January. The company is targeting several markets such Italy, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Spain, among others to sell India-built Baleno, according to a company spokesperson who doesn’t want to be named.

Maruti Suzuki started exports to EU as early as in 1987-88 with about 500 units. But, exports lasted only till 2006-07. It started looking at non-EU markets, which offered huge potential then. The company resumed exports to EU in 2008-09. But, European exports have not been growing since 2010-11. With the new Baleno, the company is hopeful of reviving and growing its exports to EU.

“Since some export markets like Africa and Latin America are facing demand slowdown due to slump in oil and commodity prices, Europe focus for exports will help the company maintain stability in exports,” according to an industry analyst.

The EU export plan is part of Suzuki’s global export strategy.

Suzuki, Maruti’s foreign parent, has also decided to sell made-in-India Baleno in Japan, signalling growing importance of Indian operations in Suzuki’s global growth strategy. Presently, Maruti is the only manufacturer of Baleno for Suzuki.

With strong response to its cars in markets such as Asia, Africa, Latin America & Middle East, Maruti’s overall passenger vehicle exports have been growing. Over 95 per cent of the export volumes are generated from non-EU markets now.

Company officials said that new markets were being identified for growing its exports further and Maruti added many new models such as Ertiga, Swift, DZire, Ciaz, Celerio to the export portfolio. “Markets like Mexico have responded positively to our mid-size sedan Ciaz,” a company spokesperson said.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 10:43:59 PM |

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