Maruti Suzuki's premium hatchback, the Baleno, crossed 1 lakh bookings early in March and became another successful model from India's largest car-manufacturer by volume. In the latest development, Maruti Suzuki India Chairman RC Bhargava has said the Baleno will be manufactured in an upcoming Gujarat plant from 2017.
In an interview to ET Auto, Bhargava said: "The Baleno will be the product to be made in the Gujarat plant, in addition to, of course, what we are doing here (Manesar)". He was answering question on the huge waiting period for the Baleno. Maruti Suzuki had plans to sell about 10,000 units of the Baleno a month. Bhargava said the demand is already higher than that.
The Gujarat plant is being constructed with a reported total investment of Rs. 18,500 crore and will be functional by 2017. Maruti Suzuki hopes to add the capacity to build 15 lakh cars per year with it, in addition to the current 14 lakh cars annually from Gurgaon and Manesar.
A major chunk of the Baleno production is expected to move to the Gujarat plant by next year. This does not come as a surprise, since Maruti Suzuki has confirmed the Baleno will be made only in India. The company has already announced its plan to export the Baleno to over 100 countries from India. Given the overwhelming domestic bookings and demand from international market, the Baleno is expected to be the key product from the Gujarat plant.
Maruti Suzuki launched the Baleno in India Oct.26, 2015. It comes with a 1.2-litre K-series petrol and a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel motor. The international model is equipped with a 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbocharged petrol unit, and the diesel units comes with the SHVS mild-hybrid system.