Maruti Suzuki, India's largest passenger carmaker, is reportedly developing a multi-utility vehicle to take on Toyota's best-selling MUV Innova.
Live Mint, citing a source familiar to the development, reported that Maruti is planning to launch the vehicle by 2017 that would compete with Innova, the current market leader in this segment. The MUV, codenamed RX, would be an eight- seater with a high-capacity diesel engine and a step above the Ertiga.
Maruti was said to have been in talks with its component suppliers over the development of the new vehicle. The company is yet to take call on whether the vehicle should be a crossover or pure utility vehicle.
"RX is still some time away and a lot of details are still at discussion stage. The company is tight-lipped about it," one of the vendors told Live Mint.
Maruti, a trusted name in India's auto market, forayed into the MUV segment in April 2012 by adding Ertiga in its portfolio. According to latest industry reports, the utility vehicle market is expected to see a sharp growth in the next couple of years.
"The MPV (multi purpose vehicle) segment has grown beyond expectations... with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18% over the last 2-3 years and the company cannot afford to ignore the segment," said an industry executive.
Maruti declined to comment on the development saying, "We do not comment on future models."
The company is also rumoured to introduce a new sedan codenamed YL1 in India by 2014.The sedan is speculated to come with 1.3-litre Multijet diesel or 1.4-litre K Series petrol engine of Ertiga, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push button start, puddle lamps and leather seats. Reports also suggest that the YL1 sedan would replace the company's current SX4 model.