Maruti stops Swift production

India’s largest carmaker Maruti has ended the production of its highly selling premium hatchback Swift, to make way for the next generation Swift, which will be launched in late August or early September.

Dealers have started accepting bookings for the new Swift. Maruti has codenamed the new Swift as YP8 and its trial runs are on in the Manesar plant, reports Economic Times.

According to a report in Business Standard, The car will come with 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel variants. It was reported that the new model, built on a slightly longer yet new platform, will be little extra roomy, lighter and return better mileage than the current generation Swift. Besides, engineers have also achieved a substantial reduction in the overall weight of the car by replacing the metal fuel tank with a plastic tank. This will improve its fuel efficiency by a little over 13 per cent. This will be the first major face-lift for the Swift since it was launched six years ago. Pricing details of the new car has not been shared by the company.

It was also reported that the new Swift will be produced at the company’s Manesar facility in Haryana, which has recently seen labour unrest. The petrol variant will return a mileage of around 20 km a litre, as compared to 17.9 km per litre certified by the Automotive Research Association of India. Similarly, the diesel model will deliver around 23.8 km per litre, as against the existing 21 km a litre.

The report stated that for installing the plastic fuel tanks, Maruti Suzuki India has tied up with France’s Plastic Omnium, the world’s largest manufacturer of plastic fuel tanks as it was mentioned that plastic fuel tanks are usually 25-35 per cent lighter than the conventional metal tanks. Besides, these are corrosion-free, durable, non-explosive and easily recyclable. Maruti Suzuki India has entered into a tripartite joint venture with Suzuki Motor Corporation and Plastic Omnium to manufacture fuel tanks at the Manesar facility. The new plastic tank manufacturing facility, Inergy Automotive Systems Manufacturing India Private Ltd, was inaugurated in Manesar on Monday.

According to the report, Maruti may also offer a four-speed automatic transmission option in the petrol version, besides the regular five-speed manual. The Swift which is available now in petrol, diesel and CNG versions and priced between Rs 3.9-5.5 lakh, sells close to 12,000 units every month. It recorded a growth of 21 per cent last year selling over 140,000 units as against 116,000 units sold in the previous year. The Swift accounts for about 25 per cent of the hatchback segment, and competes with Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Nissan Micra, Fiat Punto and Toyota Liva. It was also mentioned that Maruti is also preparing to launch a new Swift Dzire, which will be cheaper and will probably hit the market by early 2012.