Maruti Suzuki market share declined by more than 7.5% in Jan 2021
India’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki could announce something exciting in the coming days. A teaser about the same has been posted on its Twitter handle. The poster does not reveal much except the choice of graphics, which has a futuristic look and feel.
Although subtle, it also indicates towards advanced electrical and electronic systems. This presents the possibility that Maruti’s upcoming launch could be either a new hybrid powertrain for Baleno or a fully-electric car.
This is a strong contender for Maruti’s upcoming launch, as a test mule wearing Strain Gauge apparatus was recently spotted on road tests. Baleno could get a new mild-hybrid powertrain that comprises two electric motors.
These could be attached to the rear wheel hubs, which will allow faster acceleration and increased torque delivery. The benefits of reduced emissions and higher fuel efficiency will continue to be available to customers, just like the current Baleno hybrid variant.
It is also possible that Baleno could get a strong hybrid system, as was showcased at 2020 Auto Expo with Swift hybrid. The strong hybrid comprised a 10kW electric motor that can deliver 13.4 hp power and 30 Nm torque. Fuel efficiency of strong hybrid was pegged at 32 kmpl, which is significantly higher than 21.21 kmpl of current Swift petrol variant.
Fully-electric version of WagonR has been spotted several times undergoing road tests. However, as per latest reports, it is likely that Maruti has shelved plans to launch WagonR electric. The reason for the same was touted as ‘techno-commercial viability issues’.
Electric WagonR would have to use a significant number of imported components, which would have resulted in increased pricing. This would have clashed with core USPs of Maruti Suzuki, a carmaker known for its affordable products.
A fully electric car would also have failed to generate large volumes in the Indian market, which could be another reason why Maruti abandoned the idea. Maruti may probably be planning to enter the fully-electric space at a time when there’s more demand for such cars and related infrastructure is more robust and reliable.
Market share declines
Maruti Suzuki commands close to half on India’s car market, but it cannot ignore the increasing competition from new products. For Jan 2021, Maruti’s market share declined by a staggering 7.59%. While other carmakers continue to create bestselling products like Venue, Seltos, Sonet, Thar, Hector, Altroz and Magnite, we haven’t seen a similar response from Maruti Suzuki. At least not in the past couple of years.
Maruti is certainly feeling the heat, as its once top selling products like Brezza are now trailing behind new rivals. This could happen to other cars as well in the company’s portfolio. To take on competition, it is imperative that Maruti introduces new products at regular intervals. It would be interesting to see what Maruti has in store for its customers this year.