Maruti's engineering head - CV Raman sheds light on Maruti Jimny's launch plan. Also, the export-spec Jimny was recently spotted at the carmaker's manufacturing unit. Read here for a detailed report.
When Maruti Suzuki showcased the Jimny at the 2020 AutoExpo, it created a lot of hype and there have been persistent rumours regarding the launch of Jimny for India. It was also spied on Indian roads which increased the hopes regarding the launch of the Jimny. Also, recently the car was spotted at Maruti's manufacturing facility, and it is speculated that Maruti has commenced the production of the off-roader for the export markets. However, in an interview with What Car? India, Maruti’s engineering head, CV Raman downplayed the possibilities of the Jimny's launch in the Indian market.
CV Raman gives some very practical reasons for not launching the Jimny in India. He says that the Jimny is currently manufactured only as a 3-door version and sold in international markets. Even though the SUV is manufactured in India for export, it doesn’t make financial sense for Maruti to sell it in India. Furthermore, he says that the investment/return ratio for selling the Jimny is too high as three-door vehicles are a niche offering in India. People may compare it with the new Mahindra Thar which has been a huge success despite being a three-door SUV. But you have to consider the fact that Mahindra has worked extensively to make sure the New Thar can be used as a daily driver.
Compared to the Mahindra Thar, the Maruti Jimny is significantly smaller with a much more cramped second row. But in a more positive note, CV Raman mentioned that Maruti might launch the Jimny as a three-door if the segment shows future promise. This will depend on how long Mahindra will be able to sustain the Thar’s purple patch of sales and Maruti will be closely monitoring its rival’s sales.
The Maruti Jimny would be probably be released as a 5-door version in India, as the 3-door one will be too impractical for our market. In the international markets, Maruti offers the Jimny with the 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine that produces 105 PS/130 Nm of max power and torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Itis a full-time 4x4 SUV and also comes with a low-range transfer case if the going gets too tough. Whereas its venerable predecessor the Gypsy was barebones and lacked creature comforts, the Jimny offers projector headlamps, hill hold control, hill descent control, ABS with EBD and much more. Maruti Suzuki also offers its SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If launched, the Maruti Suzuki Jimny will be competing with Force Gurkha and the Mahindra 2020 Thar.