Maruti does not consider the 3-door Jimny to be an attractive enough proposition for India
The idiom ‘selling like hot cakes’ could be modified into ‘selling like mini SUVs’ as they fly off the showrooms at such brisk rate globally. The automakers who have a comprehensive lineup of compact SUVs are the happiest lot and the ones who don’t are frantically working on to plug the void.
Maruti Jimny to be made in India
The latest version of Suzuki Jimny which made its international debut in 2018 has been keeping the Japanese brand’s cash counter ringing. The demand in Europe and other target markets are so high that Suzuki’s Kosai plant in Japan, where the mini SUV is being made, is finding it difficult to keep pace. In some markets, the waiting period stretches beyond 12 months! The production facility which also manufactures other models has an installed capacity of 490,000 units per annum.
Given that Suzuki operates a wholly owned manufacturing facility in Gujarat which is currently underutilized, it could be queued in to ease some pressure off the Kosai plant. Previous media reports suggest that Suzuki is adding an assembly line at its Gujarat plant to assemble Jimny for export markets.
Now, as per a new report, a number of CKD kits of Suzuki Jimny have been imported into India. This indicates that Suzuki is about to commence assembly of the mini SUV in India but it does not automatically mean that launch in domestic market is imminent. The Suzuki plant is reported to produce 4,000 to 5,000 units of the SUV most of which will be shipped to international markets.
Will the Jimny be launched in India?
Yes, Maruti did showcase the Jimny at Auto Expo 2020 to gather public opinion, and yes, the automaker did acknowledge that it received positive reviews. However, internally, a CBU 3-door Maruti Jimny is not considered to be an attractive proposition, even as a low-volume product. However, given that Suzuki’s local assembly of the Jimny would bring the cost structure down significantly compared to the CBU route, Maruti could may reconsider its stand on this retro-classic SUV with cult following.
There is also a rumor that a 5-door version is being developed for markets like India but there are no concrete evidences yet to back up this claim. Anyway, if launched in India, the Maruti Jimny will be a positioned as a premium product retailing via Nexa outlets. It will be powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter petrol engine.