The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) is turning to the multi-purpose vehicle segment with its upcoming model Ertiga, as it looks to complete its portfolio of passenger vehicles.
The vehicle will witness its global launch next month in India that has seen an investment of about Rs 400 crore by the company as development cost.
"What we are trying here is to create a new segment of compact MPVs, just as we did with Swift in the hatchback segment. We have not been present in the MPV segment despite being the overall market leader in the country," MSI Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek told PTI here.
He said with Ertiga, the company will have a "complete range of passenger vehicles".
Commenting on the significance of Ertiga, Pareek said: "The MUV and SUV segment in India is about 30,000 units a month. We will now have a presence there with the new vehicle."
He added: "In India, there are about 15 million cars and about 8 million owners are looking to upgrade, but not all of them are simply just considering bigger cars. They are looking for family oriented MPVs, which is what we are targetting."
Pareek, however, declined to comment on the company's sales expectations from the new model.
The Ertiga will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. While the petrol variant is powered by a 1.4 litre engine, the diesel will have a 1.3 litre powertrain. The company claims that the petrol variant delivers a fuel economy of 16.02 kmpl and the diesel one gives 20.77 kmpl.
On the sales growth prospects for the next fiscal, Pareek said the first half will still be tough as market situation hasn't changed.
"Towards the second half, sales are expected to pick up, specially around the festive season. Overall the industry should grow between 5% and 10% and as a company, we expect to do better than that."
MSI has so far witnessed its total sales falling by 12.29% during the current fiscal at 10,07,743, compared to 11,49,053 units in the April-February period of 2010-11.