While there have been pretty strong rumours of the latest generation Suzuki Jimny and Swift Sport being India-bound, a new report by Zigwheels confirms that Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) has no plans of launching either in the local car market. The new Jimny was rumoured to become a lifestyle product in the carmaker's lineup. On the other hand, the Swift Sport was speculated to become one of the most performance-focused hatchbacks in India.
Maruti Suzuki feels that the low demand for a small 3-door SUVs doesn't justify bringing the Jimny to India. Currently, the Mahindra Thar, which is a popular lifestyle vehicle, averages a monthly sales figure of fewer than 1,000 units. The Force Gurkha, which is a direct rival to the Thar, sells in negligible numbers.
As for the Suzuki Swift Sport, bringing it to India would have turned out to be too expensive. The 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine of the Swift Sport would have driven costs up by a substantial margin. Moreover, the high GST on the imports would have led to a stratospheric ex-showroom price. There's little demand for expensive hatchbacks from non-luxury car brands. And Maruti would not want to introduce any derivatives which is perceived as a failure as that could rub-off on the locally made products. Hence, the company has decided against launching the Swift Sport in India.
The company will also update some of its existing models with safety features to meet the upcoming safety norms. It's worth mentioning here that from April 2020, all cars will have to meet BSVI emission standards. By October 2019, every car sold in India will have to offer ABS, dual front airbags, seatbelt reminder, and reverse parking sensors. Hence, Maruti would be working on upgrading its current lineup instead of spending resources on niche segments.
Suzuki Swift Sport - Image Gallery