Hatchback segment needs a catalyst for growth, 4th Gen Swift re-energises the segment: Hisashi Takeuchi | Autocar Professional


Hisashi Takeuchi, MD of Maruti Suzuki, says the hatchback segment needs a “catalyst for growth,” and the company is taking responsibility for “re-energising” the space with an all-new Swift. 

Takeuchi is of the opinion that the hatchback segment will continue to remain relevant for India, and Maruti Suzuki’s focus on this segment will persist.

Launching the fourth-generation Swift in Gurgaon, Takeuchi said the company strongly believes in India’s growth story. As the government aims to make India a developed country by 2047, Maruti Suzuki can expect increased economic activity and robust demand for automobiles in the coming years. 

“With only 32 vehicles per 1,000 people compared to over 600 in developed countries like Japan, India presents a vast pool of car aspirants. As car ownership rises, the hatchback segment will serve as an entry point for many customers, and thus expand,” he added. 

The hatchback accounts for 28% of the overall passenger vehicle market and Maruti Suzuki has over 60% share of the segment. In the premium hatchback segment, it has an even higher share with the Swift and the Baleno. 

Developed with an investment of Rs 1450 crore, the 4th generation Swift is high on features and safety features. The new Swift comes with 6 airbags as standard and three-point seat belts. 
The 4th generation Swift has over 45% of high tensile steel for a stronger structure and 20% – ultra high tensile steel. 

Powered by an all-new 1.2-litre Z series engine, the new Swift – which will be produced at the company’s Gujarat facility – delivers 10% higher fuel efficiency with manual transmission and 14% better mileage with Automated Manual Transmission. 

The vehicle is also 12% lower in emissions compared to its outgoing model. 
“It is important to cater to diverse customer segments to maintain our leadership position,” asserted Takeuchi. 

The global success of the Swift is a testament to its market potential, with over 6.5 million hatchbacks sold in 169 countries. Notably, India accounts for almost 46% of these sales, demonstrating Maruti Suzuki’s ability to cater to diverse markets. 
Europe follows this with over 1.2 million and Japan with over 7 lakh customers.
The MD reiterated that India continues to be an important market for Suzuki. “Our long-term goal is to produce and sell 4 million units annually, including exports.”

(With inputs from Mayank Dhingra)

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