The Maruti Baleno’s primary targets are the Hyundai Elite i20, Honda Jazz and VW Polo but sales data for the month of November 2015 shows that the premium hatchback ended up inflicting more damage to its stablemate Swift than to its intended rivals. If this trend continues, MSIL’s hopes of incremental sales from the Baleno would not be fully realized.
The Maruti Swift’s October 2015 sales stood at an impressive 17,669 units but in the following month (the Baleno’s first full month of sales), the popular hatchback’s volume plummeted to 11,859 units, a Month-on-Month decline of 5,810 units and a Year-on-Year decline (compared to November 2014) of 6,041 units.
In comparison, the Baleno managed to clock 9,074 units in November 2015. However, since it cannibalized the Swift, MSIL’s incremental sales due to the launch of an highly anticipated product didn’t quite match up to the expectations.
The Baleno did outsell the Hyundai Elite i20 to become the premium hatchback segment leader but the Korean hatchback’s MoM sales decline of 2,755 units in November 2015 is milder compared to the Swift’s MoM loss of 5,810 units.
The numbers indicate that Maruti’s latest offering readily attracts prospective Swift customers with a promise of fresh appeal, better space and more equipment at a marginal price difference. In other words, the Maruti Baleno’s market positioning is too close for the Swift’s comfort.