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Maruti to use Thai trade pact to launch green car
Published on 31 Aug. 2009 11:25 PM IST
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India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India is looking to introduce a green car in the Indian market. Speaking to ET, Maruti Suzuki MD and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi said: “We stand a chance to have the eco-car in the Indian market.” “It fits well into our product mix and we could utilise the Indo-Thai trade pact to bring in components at low taxes, thus making the car price-competitive for Indian customers,” he added. The huge potential for the fuel-efficient green model in the domestic market has prompted Maruti to bring the eco-car it’s parent company, Suzuki Motor (SMC), has developed for Thailand to India, he said. SMC has been vying to produce a small car with a Euro IV engines of up to 1,300 cc under the Thai government’s special eco-car programme, delivering efficiency of 20 km per litre of fuel and under 120 grams of CO2 emissions per km. Such cars would attract huge excise benefits and concessional tax sops. According to Times report, the company had earlier planned to set up capacity to manufacture 1.38 lakh eco cars (Cervo and other models) per year in Thailand, with $280 million investment. The global slowdown put brakes on that plan. Under the Thai government’s plan, majority of these green cars were meant for exports and SMC had earlier planned to sell 10-15% of its total production in Thailand and export the rest to ASEAN and Australia. Since export of fully-built cars from Thailand to India is ruled out, Maruti is looking at bringing knocked-down versions of the car to be assembled in India. SMC has helped Maruti launch half-a-dozen new cars in the past two years as it looks to expand its product portfolio and retain its over 50% market share in India.

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