Suzuki wants more Fiat diesel engines for the Indian market

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 4, 2011

Amid the conflicts with Volkswagen, Suzuki’s alliance with Fiat becomes more intense. Their collaboration, which actually started in 2003, led to the launch of the Sedici/SX4 pair in 2006. In Europe, the SX4 is offered with a Fiat-sourced 2.0 diesel. An agreement was inked last June to offer a 1.6 diesel that will be used on the next generation of the SX4, which is presently being developed.

Around 280,000 1.3 JTD four-cylinder diesels annually are produced by Maruti-Suzuki, its joint-venture in India. This output was made possible with Fiat’s license.

Suzuki’s assembly plant in Hungary receives 50,000 while the rest are kept in India. A new contract signed by Suzuki and Fiat will raise the annual production figure of Indian-built 1.3 JTDs to 380,000. This will enable Maruti-Suzuki to raise production of the Swift beginning in January 2012. The Swift is one of the top-selling cars in its category in India.

The price of the Swift had to be raised due to increasing gas prices and due to measures to prevent a shortage of diesel models and a surplus of gasoline-powered models. Suzuki’s biggest market is India. A publication, The Indian Times, said that in 2010, most passenger cars sold had a Suzuki emblem on the front. The Japanese firm holds a 54.2% of the Maruti-Suzuki joint-venture.

When Suzuki introduced an innovation programme to dominate the compact car segment as well as be the world’s top motorcycle brand, they scored their first product with Suzuki Swift. The Swift had several design and ideas that will be seen in many succeeding models introduced after it.

Suzuki Swift had a global outlook. To prove that, it was also produced around the world: in Hungary, India, Japan, and China. However, development was focused on the needs and preferences of European customers, especially in terms of driving characteristics and design. The design team first established a facility in Europe, hoping to gather information and insight into how the European market thinks while also drawing inspiration all around. A majority of the chassis development and tuning drew inspiration from real-life insights that were gathered from track and road testing all over Europe.

The end product was a design that is sporty, exquisite and innovative, perfect for international tastes. Suzuki Swift also developed and adopted design themes that were first introduced in both the Concept S and the Concept S2.

It represented a change as far as design is concerned, as well as manifested the manufacturer’s commitment to take established market segments and make it their own.

The designers stayed away from the “one-box” look and produced a significantly original design with a unique hood. The Suzuki Swift had flared and athletic wheel arches, wide shouldered beltline, daring sills and wheels that are placed further out into the corners. Overall, the Swift looked very stable and dynamic.

The nose is visibly curved while there are square opening in the mesh grille and spoiler, giving the Swift a more unique look. The A and B-pillars are painted black and together it looks like a wraparound glasshouse, while the headlight housings are set into the wings to mimic the shape of the tail lamps.

The one of a kind shape of the tailgate and the big rear bumper gives the lower portion of the body a more solid look. Above the tailgate, the trailing edge of the roof also serves as a spoiler. This helps keep the Swift 1 kilogram lighter while also helping with the car’s aerodynamics.

Topics: suzuki, fiat, diesel, engine

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