November 22, 2008

Maruti's A-Star to meet European Emission Norms
Maruti Suzuki's compact A-Star, which will be launched in October, is expected to surpass the earlier strict emission norms announced by the company.

Emission from the A-Star not only complies with the Euro 3 (Bharat-3) norms that are operational in 13 Indian cities, including Delhi, but also geared to meet stringent emission norms that will be implemented across Europe in the coming years.

The A-Stars CO2 emission will be even lower than 109 gm/km which we had envisaged earlier. This is much lower than the European emission norms that require cars to emit 120 gm/km in the future said Shinzo Nakanishi, MD, Maruti Suzuki.

India's Euro 3 norms is 5 years behind those currently enforced in Europe, while Euro 4 norms that are enforced outside the 13 Indian cities are 10 years behind European benchmarks. While gaseous and particulate matter comprise Euro 4 gradation in India, Europe's emission reports estimate the CO2 discharge levels only. Lower CO2 levels in cars means the car has superior fuel efficiency, said Anomita Chowdhury, Associate Director, Centre for Science and Environment.

Maruti Suzuki's decision to manufacture the A-Star car in India is part of parent Suzuki's overall strategy to make India the manufacturing hub for the production of small cars like the Alto, Swift, and Maruti 800. We may consider manufacturing the A Star later in China which will cater to the Chinese market only. In that case we may have to export auto components from India to China, said Nakanishi.

The firm hopes to export about one lakh units of the A-Star to Europe. In about 2-3 years from the launch, we may export to S America and the SE Asian region, he said.

As part of its strategy to consolidate its position in the A2 segment, which will witness newer players like Nissan, Toyota, and Honda this year onwards, Maruti Suzuki has indicated it will launch the compact Splash next year.


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