Local production of bigger Suzuki Jimny 5-door is not expected before 2022-23
Ever since the Suzuki Jimny was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020, there have been widespread discussions about the mini off-roader’s entry into our market. Maruti Suzuki officials hinted that the existing 3-door model would not generate enough volumes to justify introduction. There were reports that a 5-door variant is in the works for markets like India.
India to become production hub
The latest Jimny-related scoop suggests that parent company Suzuki is gearing up to make India the exclusive production hub for the upcoming 5-door variant. This report not only adds gravity to the existence of the larger model, it also assures that the Jimny is indeed coming to our market.
According to Economic Times’ sources, Suzuki Motor Corp has been talking to Indian vendors to source components for the 5-door Jimny locally. However, the publication also says that the initial plan is to import CKD kits of 3-door Jimny and assemble it at its subsidiary Maruti Suzuki’s Gurgaon plant.
It remains to be seen if the locally assembled Jimny 3-door will be introduced in India or only be exported. We guess it would be for the former. Suzuki’s Japanese facility (annual production capacity of around 55,000 units) which currently manufactures the Jimny for the entire world has been struggling to keep up with the demand, leading to waiting periods of several months in certain markets. A local assembly in India out of CKD kits sourced from Japan would provide the mother plant an interim relief.
However, full-fledged manufacturing of 3- and 5-door variants with proper localization is expected to take time. The reported timeline is 2022-23. Made in India Jimny will enter production at the Suzuki plant in Gujarat. Local production of Jimny for export markets is expected to increase Maruti Suzuki’s product contribution to exports significantly, from current 7%. The local subsidiary has been targeting an export contribution of 20%.
Maruti Suzuki Jimny 5-door
Once launched in India, it is likely to be christened as New Maruti Gypsy. The Maruti Suzuki Jimny 5-door with retro-classic lines and enhanced practicality is expected to help the automaker regain some lost ground in UV market share. The iconic Maruti Gypsy’s spiritual successor will be pitted against the soon-to-be-launched Mahindra Thar when its ready. The two additional doors and a cheaper price tag should give the Maruti a competitive edge.
The lifestyle product will be powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter petrol engine but it remains to be seen if the 5-door model will get a power hike or not. Suzuki could also give the compact off-roader a turbocharged petrol unit. Prices could start in the range of Rs 8-10 lakhs.