Maruti Celerio’s replacement and the new 800cc model, which could possibly replace the Alto – will be priced under Rs 5 lakh
Maruti Suzuki has announced that it will be launching two new products on the Indian market; the first one being the replacement for the Celerio. It is expected to hit the market this Diwali 2020. Set to be priced below Rs 5 lakh, the new budget Maruti Suzuki models (probably hatchbacks) will come with 1.0-litre and 800cc engines, respectively.
At an official event held in Mumbai, Kenichi Ayukawa, MD & CEO of Maruti Suzuki, told Economic Times that the company is working on an 800cc small car alongside various other products. He stated that the challenges in developing a small car primarily revolve around keeping the costs low. Furthermore, it has to meet all the latest safety and emission norms. In effect, this would bring the base price up by 10% over that of the current BS4 scenario.
Ayukawa also believes that the Indian automotive market has a high demand from rural sub-markets and affordability is the way to go forward. Maruti Suzuki currently commands a market share of more than 50% and a good majority of the sales are contributed by budget products such as the Alto. The company has had some rough times in 2019, but still leads on the sales chart by a strong margin from its closest rival, Hyundai India.
The 1.0-litre “compact car” is internally codenamed YNC. As per rumours, it will replace the Maruti Celerio which comes in both 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre avatars. On the other hand, the 800cc car is dubbed as Y0M and it is worth the wait to see if it will be the replacement to the evergreen Maruti Alto. It will make its debut only in Diwali 2021.
Interestingly, major brands such as Hyundai and Tata Motors have shifted their focus away from the budget or sub-5-lakh-rupee vehicle segment. Apparently, the increased cost to comply with the updated set of rules and regulations would make budget cars a lot less viable.
However, Maruti Suzuki has decided to go forward with their expertise in making decent products in the entry-level segment. Compared to its competitors, the company may not be making the best products higher up on the price ladder even though the monthly sales figures tell a different story. Maruti Suzuki is arguably the best choice when it comes to budget cars.
As per the latest data, the market for small cars is shrinking at an alarming pace. The segment accounts for less than 8% in 2020 on the Indian automotive market in comparison to around 25%, a decade ago in 2010. Maruti Suzuki has always been the go-to choice for average Indian buyers when it comes to driving home their first car, particularly in the sub-5-lakh price category.