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Maruti Suzuki India Limited formerly known as Maruti Udyog Limited is an automobile manufacturer in India. It is majorly owned subsidiary of Japanese owned car and motorcycle manufacturer Suzuki Motor Corporation. Maruti Suzuki was the first car brand in India to produce and sell more than a million cars.
It has created a benchmark for different Indian automobile companies. It owns the highest market share in India. A 53% market share in the Indian passenger car market clearly shows its dominance.
It is the leader in car market both in terms of vehicles sold and revenue earned. The company is headquartered at Gurgaon, Haryana (near Delhi). In May 2015, the company produced its fifteenth million vehicle in India. Kenichi Ayukawa is the CEO of Maruti Suzuki India whereas R.C. Bhargava serves as the Chairman of the company.
Maruti Suzuki came into existence in 1981 under the provisions of Indian Companies Act, 1956. Suzuki Motors (Japan) was selected as a Joint Venture for the company. The first car launched by the company was a 796 cc hatchback, Maruti Suzuki 800.
The company went into production just after one year of their establishment. The beginning of Maruti Suzuki bought in India a perfect and precise Japanese philosophy and method of production. Cars were produced keeping the motto ‘smaller, fewer, lighter, shorter and neater’ in mind. In 1984, the company released the Maruti Van with same three cylinder engine which was used in 800. It was in 1984 only that the capacity of the company’s plant in Gurgaon reached 40,000 units.
As mentioned above, Maruti Suzuki acquired a lot of things from the Japanese culture of work. Common uniform, open office and same canteen for all people from the Director of the company to the workman. These are some qualities that helped the company to grow and to gain successful market share in the initial stages.
In 1989, the company introduced Maruti 1000, a 970cc three box car which was India’s first contemporary sedan. In 1991, after the effects of liberalization, Suzuki increased its stake in the company to 50% for efficient growth and manufacturing. Further, the company has three manufacturing facilities in India. All of them combined have a production capacity of 1,700,000 annually.
Nowadays, the company uses the advance SHVS mild hybrid platform. Termed as Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki this mechanism essentially uses a motor-an Integrated Starter Generator to enable power regeneration and engine power assistance. The company have grown a lot since the Inline 3 cylinder 796cc, 37bhp engine from the oldest model. It has seen a phase of growth and innovation. The Inline 4 cylinder 1296cc, 74bhp engine used in Baleno (2015) shows the efficiency and consistency in the technological advancement of the company.
In the safety department, Maruti cars come with 8 airbags, ABS, BA, ESP, EBD. In the older versions of the cars produced by the company safety was not a major concern. The cars usually had seatbelts only and some minor safety features. Along with the different type of airbags, present cars have more safety features and technologies like central locking and engine mobilizers. In 2015, Maruti launched the Clutch Less Technology, which did not hamper either the fuel efficiency or the price of the car. It was a complete breakthrough and was very beneficial for the brand image and holistic development of Maruti Suzuki.
One of the famous cars, Maruti Suzuki Swift which was unveiled at the Tokyo motor show in 2009 came with an all-electric range of about 30km drawing on lithium-ion battery pack. When the battery runs low a small 0.66L engine kicks to power a generator that charges the entire battery. The latest generation of Swift comes with 1.2L K-series petrol and 1.3L DDis engines.
Currently, the company is working on its latest innovation to reduce water use and smoke emission from the vehicle. Innovations such as new generation platforms, friction reduction in drive train and improvement in drive-line losses can increase up to 20% fuel efficiency in compact cars both in petrol and diesel vehicles. The company also reduced water consumption at the time of manufacturing at a rate of 6% per vehicle. The new innovation lowers the emission of CO2 while improving fuel efficiency and overall performance of the car.
The company has established itself perfectly in India and has provided the people with some amazing cars. These cars are proper in performance, fuel efficient and low priced. Maruti Suzuki always took a customer satisfaction approach while manufacturing cars.
They produced cars keeping in mind the need and the budget of almost every Indian citizen. This is one of the main reasons why the company has such a high market share in the country. Some famous and top models manufactured by the company are as follows (data shows number of units sold in the period of April 2017- April 2018):
The build quality of the car is something which has remain it’s downsize since the company’s inception. It is true that the company was the first one to manufacture an Indian hatchback but years after the first car, the company has failed to stay efficient in the quality of material by which the car is made.
Further, there have been times when Maruti Suzuki has been accused of exporting good quality cars outside India and selling the remaining in the country. After noticing the fact, that there is flimsy build quality and lower grade plastics used in the making of the car it is impressive and surprising that Maruti Suzuki still commands the single largest monopoly and are able to safeguard their market share.
Although, this monopoly doesn’t change the fact that the company needs to specialize and improvise the build quality of the cars. The main reason why people still purchase Maruti cars are not of their impressive design and features. Easy accessibility to service centers, easy accessibility of spare parts and good resale value induces a customer to purchase the car.
It is time now, that the company should start focusing on building good quality rather than an even better brand image. Maruti Suzuki has all the market in the country. If it improves the manufacturing and the material used at time of production, it will seriously receive less critics and more buyers.
Maruti Suzuki cars possess one of the best resale values. In India, it is difficult to consider a car as an investment because of low resale values of a number of cars. A used car in India goes through a lot of wear and tear and the overall value depreciates highly at the time of resale.
In the case of Maruti Suzuki, this trend has been changed a little. Cars have good resale values and does not depreciate at a very high rate. For instance, A 3 year old Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire can get 80% of the ex-showroom price of the vehicle. When put on resale, it can easily get a price of 4.5 lakhs to 6 lakhs.
India’s economy is growing every day. With this growth comes the growth of number of car purchasers in the country. Maruti Suzuki is a market leader among hatchbacks. In recent years, many companies have launched their products which are innovative to give direct competition to Maruti Suzuki. The growth of competitors should be taken seriously. Maruti Suzuki must look to improve the limitations that the company is facing.
New products, with more efficient engines, technologies, safety features and built are needed to face the overwhelming competition in the Indian market. Since its inception, Maruti Suzuki has always been a desired car for the Indians.
Maintaining these standards is one of the most difficult job for any company. Maruti Suzuki is successful in sustaining in brand image and is maintaining the rapid pace in new and good product launches. Customers expect and demand a lot from this brand. To stand on their expectations is a demanding, yet an achievable job for Maruti Suzuki.
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