Maruti Suzuki announced yesterday that they have begun exporting the made-in-India Jimny SUV. The first batch, which consists of 184 units, is headed for the Latin American countries like Peru and Colombia from Mundra Port. These Suzuki Jimny's have been manufactured at the company's plant in Gurugram. This obviously is the three-door version of the Jimny that is only being manufactured for export markets. India will get a five-door version of the Jimny that is expected to arrive six months after exports begin.
The Jimny that's being manufactured for exports is mechanically and size-wise identical to one that's manufactured in Suzuki's plant in Kosai, Japan. It is powered by a 1.5L petrol engine and gets either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed torque convertor gearbox option. While this first batch is bound for Peru and Columbia, the made-in-India Jimny will also be exported to markets like Africa and the Middle East.
Speaking on the occasion, Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited said,
“Jimny will fulfil aspirations of customers throughout the world. Jimny manufactured at Maruti Suzuki’s Gurugram plant shares the same specification as the export models produced at the Suzuki Motor Corporation’s Kosai plant in Japan. We are confident with Jimny we will be able to enhance our overall exports.”
The Maruti Suzuki Jimny has a similar body-on-frame construction as that of the origial Gypsy and the Mahindra Thar as well. It is powered by the same K15B petrol engine that you find in a lot of other Maruti Suzuki cars like the Vitara Brezza and the Ciaz. The 105hp 1.5L engine is however longitudinally mounted in Jimny, driving the rear or all-four wheels. It's very different from monocoque based Brezza where the engine is transversely mounted, driving only the front wheels.
We expect the 5-door India-spec Jimny to have a similar engine and gearbox options as the one that is being exported. Although the India-spec Jimny will be longer than the global-spec model, it will still be under 4 meters. However, it being powered by a 1.5L engine, it will not qualify for tax deductions for small cars in India. When launched, the Jimny could overlap the prices of other sub-compact SUVs, including Maruti's own Vitara Brezza. However, given the fundamental differences, it will cater to a very different set of buyers. It will rival the likes of the Mahindra Thar and second-gen Force Gurkha in India.