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India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. on Wednesday launched the XL6 multi-purpose vehicle at an ex-showroom price of Rs 9.79 lakh to Rs 11.46 lakh.
The XL6, which will be sold in Maruti Suzuki’s Nexa showrooms, is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine with progressive smart hybrid system paired with a lithium-ion battery. The MPV will be available in five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmission options.
The manual variants of the XL6 are priced bertween Rs 9.79 lakh and Rs 10.36 lakh while the automatic variants are tagged at Rs 10.89 lakh and Rs 11.46 lakh.
The car can seat six people at a time and has captain seats in the second row.
"At Maruti Suzuki, we have always focused on bringing products that match customer demand. The XL6 is an exclusive six-seater premium MPV, designed to meet the aspirations of evolved Nexa customers," Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and chief executive officer at Maruti Suzuki India, said at the XL6 launch event in New Delhi.
The MPV will be sold at Maruti Suzuki’s 364 Nexa showrooms spread across 200 cities. The XL6 is seventh Maruti Suzuki car that is compliant with Bharat Stage-VI emission norms.
"There is a considerable increase in demand for premium multi purpose vehicles owing to the ever-evolving customer needs," said Ayukawa.
According to the Maruti Suzuki India CEO, the Indian auto industry is undergoing a major shift in terms of new regulations, new technologies and new policies.
"As the leading automobile manufacturer of the country, Maruti Suzuki will ensure meeting all these regulations, expectations and requirements. On regulations, we will be ready much before the stipulated timelines," Ayukawa said.
The company is also investing in its research and development centre to introduce latest technologies and higher level of localisation.
With focus on new technologies like CNG, hybrid and electric vehicles, the carmaker aims to bring down emissions and provide environment-friendly mobility solutions to its customers, Ayukawa said.
When asked if the company would rethink its decision to discontinue small diesel engines, Ayukawa said such powertrains are not feasible under BS-VI emission norms.
"For bigger size (diesel engine) we have to study and see market trends. If there is customer demand, we will consider, but is very difficult to continue with small diesel vehicles," he said.
On electric vehicles, Ayukawa said it is not easy to satisfy customer expectations at the moment because costs are not reducing. The battery technology is still evolving globally, he said. "We are trying to develop some products. We would be launching them next year, but it is very difficult to satisfy consumers.”
Commenting on the company’s state of affairs amid the auto slowdown in India, Maruti Suzuki’s Executive Director Shashank Srivastava said the carmaker’s inventory level currently stands at 35 days. “ There is enough inventory, so there is no pressure to push. Our entire focus right now is on retail sales.”
Discounts being offered on models are higher right now as compared to the fourth quarter of 2018-19, Srivastava said, adding that the company is hopeful that sales will start picking from the festive season and new product launches, like the XL6, will help it further.
Based on Suzuki Motor Corp.'s fifth generation Heartect platform, the Maruti Suzuki XL6 is compliant with all Indian safety regulations like frontal offset impact, side impact and pedestrian protection. The company and its vendor partners have invested Rs 100 crore on the development of the new model.
The company may also look at exporting the vehicle to neighbouring countries.
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