Maruti Suzuki has just shifted production of the Baleno premium hatchback, from its new Hansalpur factory in Gujarat, to the Manesar factory at Haryana. This production shift has happened because Maruti wants to free up production capacity for the all-new 2018 Swift, a car that has already clocked 30,000 pre-bookings even before its official launch and price announcement.
Maruti has a capacity to produce 2.5 lakh cars per year at its Hansalpur factory. Building only the Swift here will allow it to produce over 20,000 Swifts for the Indian market each month. This strategy is meant to keep waiting periods for the new Swift low. Long waiting periods drive away customers to other brands, and car makers are now conscious to this fact given that competition is high and here are a lot of other options to choose from for the customer.
Both the 2018 Swift and the Baleno will be separated by at least about Rs. 40,000 in terms of pricing. The Baleno starts from Rs. 5.47 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi and Maruti is yet to announce prices of the Swift. That said, we expect prices of the 2018 Swift to start from Rs. 5 lakhs. This will keep an adequate gap between the Swift and Baleno, and also the Swift and the Dzire, the latter’s prices starting from Rs. 5.56 lakhs.
Both the Swift and Baleno share many parts. Firstly, they’re based on the same HEARTECT platform, which uses lightweight, high tensile steel to cut down on weight. Both cars also use the same set of engines and manual transmissions. However, the Baleno – being the more premium of the two – gets a highly refined CVT automatic gearbox on the petrol engine. The Swift Petrol gets an AMT both on the petrol and diesel engines. The diesel version of the Baleno doesn’t get an automatic gearbox option.