In recent years, a sunroof has become a desirable feature for sedans and SUVs in the Indian market. A sunroof enhances a car’s premiumness and it also allows users to enjoy the outside view. Sunroof is being offered with several cars such as Hyundai Venue, Mahindra XUV300, Jeep Compass, Kia Seltos, MG Hector, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Kona Electric, among others.
Surprisingly, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki currently does not offer sunroof with any of its products. Maruti cars like Brezza, S-Cross, Ciaz and recently launched Ertiga XL6 easily qualify for a sunroof as these cars are some of the most expensive Maruti cars on sale, but still get no sunroof.
If you are wondering why sunroof is missing from Maruti cars, senior executive of the company Mr C V Raman has the answers for you. In an interview with Financial Express, Mr Raman revealed not one, but multiple reasons why Maruti has stayed away from sunroofs.
Firstly, the climate in India is largely hot and humid. Except the winter months, the AC is used all throughout the year in India. This leaves little scope for using a sunroof. According to Mr Raman, a sunroof is more suitable for colder regions, where it could warm up the interiors. In Indian conditions, a sunroof will have the opposite outcome and even affect performance of air-conditioning system.
Mr Raman also mentions safety risks that arise with using a sunroof. In the past, various cases have been reported where people sticking out their torsos have been hurt. Children are the most vulnerable group, as they may not be able to take evasive action in the event of a risky situation that develops rapidly. Cases of people getting injured due to flying debris have also been reported.
Another reason why Maruti has avoided sunroofs is due to the increase in servicing cost. A sunroof requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it leak-proof and in running condition. This increases servicing cost, which goes against Maruti’s focus on providing affordable servicing to customers. Mr Raman also says that not many customers are interested in a sunroof. According to an internal survey conducted by the company, only around 4-5% of customers wanted a sunroof.
However, Mr Raman added that the company’s policy about sunroofs may change in the future. He said that if a sunroof makes a real difference to sales, then Maruti would surely consider adding them to their cars.