Car News Maruti Suzuki

Maruti Baleno’s loss is Hyundai Elite i20’s gain

Maruti Baleno domestic sales

Thanks to a high capacity utilization factor at the Manesar plant, the company can’t increase the Baleno output without affecting other products.

Ever since Maruti Baleno’s export operations to Japan and Europe commenced in January this year, the automaker has been finding it difficult to cope up with the demand in the domestic markets. Thanks to the production constraint, waiting period for the hatchback in some cities stretches to up to 6 months.

In March 2016, the Baleno clocked 6,236 units in India which is the lowest ever monthly figure since its launch. That’s a decline of 41% compared to December 2015’s figure of 10,572 units (best performance by the hatchback so far). In stark contrast, the export volumes of the Baleno more than trebled from January (1,800 units) to March (5,600 units).

India-made Baleno at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

The Baleno is being shipped to Japan and Europe as of now.

This trend clearly indicates that Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. is finding it difficult to increase the production capacity of the Baleno to cater to both export and domestic markets without any bottlenecks. The company’s Manesar plant is running almost at its full capacity and hence easing up more volumes for the Baleno would affect other models.

The company is adopting measures to increase the capacity but the demand continues to outrun the supply. Maruti’s inability to plug the demand-supply gap is helping the Baleno’s primary rival, the Hyundai Elite i20 which is available with a much shorter waiting period of 15-20 days. The volumes of the Elite i20 has been growing steadily and this is enabling it to retain its market share of 35% in the segment.

hyundai elite i20 1.5 lakh sales

The Elite i20 has been steadily growing its monthly sales figures in the domestic market so far in 2016 whereas the story is quite the opposite in case of the Baleno.

Also read – Suzuki’s Gujarat car plant is on track

Maruti is expected to target a production capacity of 1.6 lakh units for the Baleno in its first year (10k up from the initial target). The company is expected to accept export orders of no more than 50,000 units). It’s to be noted that India is the only production base for the global B-segment hatchback.

Maruti Baleno RS – Photos

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About the author

Nithyanandh Karuppaswamy

Winner of national level automotive quiz competitions, Nithyanandh aka Nithz jumped into the blogosphere right after gaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Love for automobiles and an even greater drive to share his knowledge with the automotive community, Nithz is Deputy Editor at RushLane.

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