Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. introduced a shorter, cheaper version of its Swift Dzire sedan on Wednesday as part of efforts to retain its position as the country's largest car maker by sales.

The government of India imposes a 10 percent tax on cars measuring up to 4 meters in length. An excise tax of 22 percent is imposed on cars beyond 4 meters in length. By cutting its length to below 4 metres the new model will be up to Rs 30,000 ($600) cheaper than before. The starting price is at Rs 4.79 lakhs ($9,500) for petrol, Lxi model and the top-end diesel variant will now cost Rs 7.09 lakh ($14,000). Among sedans, it competes with Toyota's Etios, Hyundai's Accent and Tata's Indigo range.

We have brought in 150 changes in this car as compared with the previous one, Managing Director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki India, Shinzo Nakanishi said.

The new Swift DZire is more fuel-efficient by almost 7 percent in petrol (19.1 km a litre) and 8 percent in diesel (23.4 km a litre) compared to the older sedan.

In sedans, this will also be the cheapest automatic variant on offer.  Nakanishi said, Growth in the Indian car market will be possible when the middle-class gets a balanced package at an affordable price. This is the reason why we have an automatic version of this car.