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A week ahead of the Detroit Auto Show, New Delhi’s Auto Expo is increasingly becoming a big deal – especially in regards to small cars. With India likely to become one of the world’s largest markets, automakers are eager to get their foot in the door. One manufacturer that already has a huge presence in the county is Suzuki and its looking to stay competitive and current, looking to expand its product offerings from more than just mini-cars, to functional people-haulers.
This week at the Auto Expo 2010 show in New Delhi, Suzuki showcased just such a vehicle, the R3 MPV concept. Based on a stretched version of the same platform that underpins the SX4, this MPV seats six and is expected to be powered b one of Suzuki’s small (1.2-liter or 1.4-liter) gasoline four-cylinder engines, while a Fiat-sourced 1.3-liter diesel is also a possibility.
Suzuki is rumored to have already given the R3 MPV the green light for production, with sales starting in 18 to 24 months. While deisgned for the Indian market, with the increasing popularity of MPVs in other markets, including North America where Mazda has had success with Mazda5 and both Ford and GM are looking to introduce MPVs, the R3 could become more of a global vehicle that Suzuki had initially planned.
GALLERY: Suzuki R3 MPV Concept
If there’s one lesson the global economic crisis taught automakers, its that the need to diversify their products and not focus too much on the high return-on-investment established markets. Now there’s plenty of talk about building low-cost cars for places like China, India and Brazil.
In a bid to grow with these emerging auto markets, Honda has just introduced the Honda New Small Concept at the Auto Expo show in New Delhi, India. With seating for five an a futuristic design, a production version of the concept is already on the way and will hit the market in 2011.
Honda says the new small-car will be, “beyond the expectations of customers in rapidly growing markets and offer it at an affordable price.”
It is set to go on sale in India and Thailand, with sales likely expanding to other emerging markets after that.
GALLERY: Honda New Small Concept
Official release after the jump: