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First look: Suzuki shows its next Alto

Suzi's new baby: A-Star Concept will make its public debut in India.

India comes of age with the reveal of a Suzuki mini-car, the Alto-previewing A-Star

14 Dec 2007

SUZUKI has revealed the first images of a new small car that will be built in India, but sold around the world.

Although presented as a concept car called the A-Star Concept, it will become the new Suzuki Alto from late-2008 and is especially designed to appeal to Europe.

Reflecting its Indian heritage, the Suzuki A-Star Concept is to have its global unveiling at the Auto Expo motor show in New Delhi next month.

A closer-to-production version of the car is expected to be presented at the Geneva motor show in March, when more details should become available.

Jointly developed by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation and its Indian affiliate Maruti Suzuki, it will be produced Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar and exported globally.

A brief press release confirmed that the concept car would lead to production and that it has been designed with Europe in mind but with an Indian influence.

“Compact cars are normally simple and elegant in design,” said Suzuki. “The Suzuki A-Star Concept, while retaining elegance and simplicity, will demonstrate sportiness and emotion in a compact car.

“Its styling has been conceived in an Indian setting, and it borrows tastefully from our landscape. Within a predominantly European character, there are subtle cues from Indian tradition in the outlines of the Suzuki A-Star Concept.

“Concept cars often do not become production models, being more an expression of futuristic technologies and designs, but the Suzuki A-Star Concept will culminate in a production model.

30 center imageLeft: Suzuki's A-Star Concept will morph into the 2009 Alto.

“The Suzuki A-Star Concept is, in fact, the precursor to Maruti Suzuki’s global compact car that will be launched in the future. The global compact car will be manufactured in Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Manesar for export to Europe.”The Japanese company also claims that the concept car symbolises the coming of age of Maruti Suzuki’s research and development capabilities, which have until five years ago been limited to facelifting existing models.

“Their next big step was the Swift model, where a small group of Indian engineers supported counterparts in Suzuki Motor Corporation in developing that world car,” sai9d the company’s statement.

“The Suzuki A-Star Concept, developed in collaboration with Suzuki Motor Corporation, signifies that styling capabilities at Maruti Suzuki are now comparable to the best in the world.”Suzuki claims to be reaping the benefits of investing in the developing Indian market ahead of most other car companies.

“Suzuki Motor Corporation invested in this country 25 years ago, much before it had become fashionable to invest in India.

“Thanks to regular technology advances, people training and adoption of superior production systems and quality standards, Maruti Suzuki India produces vehicles of world-class quality.

“Maruti has been the engine of growth for Indian manufacturing, nurturing a national network of auto component suppliers, dealers and workshops, and rapidly motorising India.”Suzuki is investing about $2.5 billion over a five-year period to create a new car plant, a diesel engine manufacturing unit, a new engine series and new models, making Maruti Suzuki an emerging global manufacturing hub for Suzuki.

The company anticipates that Maruti will in future become its R&D hub for automobiles in Asia.

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