New Delhi: Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has started shipping its premium hatchback Baleno to Europe, ahead of the formal launch of the model by its Japanese parent Suzuki Motor Corp.
The Baleno, which is produced only in India, has already become the first model to be exported by Maruti to its parent Suzuki's home market, Japan.
SMC will showcase India-made Baleno in the upcoming Geneva International Motor, which will be open to the press on March 1 and 2 and then to the general public from March 3-13.
"The shipments of the Baleno has started from last week," a company official told PTI.
Suzuki Motor Corporation said that after its world premiere at the last Frankfurt Motor Show, it is ready for the market launch of the new Baleno in Europe.
"The model will go on sale in Europe in this spring," the company said in a statement.
MSI, an arm of SMC, launched the Baleno in India last year. It will be launched in Japan next month.
The first consignment comprised 1,800 units and was shipped from Mundra Port in Gujarat, where SMC is setting up a manufacturing plant to supply cars to its Indian arm.
Maruti also plans to export the Baleno to over 100 global markets. The company and its supplier partners have invested Rs 1,060 crore in the development of Baleno, which is being manufactured at the company's Manesar plant.
In the domestic market, the car has been well accepted. Last month, Baleno made it to the eight rank in the top ten passenger vehicle models with sale of 7,698 units
Baleno competes with the likes of Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz and Volkswagen Polo and is sold through the company's new premium network of showrooms, Nexa.