After launching all-new, second generation Ertiga in November last year, Maruti Suzuki noticed that there is hardly any demand for the entry level variants. Due to this, the company has reportedly decided to discontinue its base LXi and LDi variants. Carwale reports that Maruti Suzuki has asked dealerships not to take any new bookings for Ertiga base variants, LXi and LDi variants from March 1. However, deliveries will be fulfilled for customers who have already booked base variants of the MPV.
Official confirmation regarding this has not been provided by Maruti, but discontinuation of base LXi and LDi looks probable because sales have been dismal for these variants. Ertiga is one of the bestsellers in Maruti’s portfolio, but most sales come from mid-spec (V) and top-spec (Z and Z+) trims.
Sales have been booming since the launch of all-new Ertiga and in January 2019, Ertiga sold 6,352 units, making it the second bestselling MPV ahead of Innova, Marazzo and Honda BRV. In February, Ertiga zoomed to the top spot with sales of 7,975 units.
Mid-spec V trims contribute nearly 30 per cent to overall sales of Ertiga whereas top-spec Z and Z+ models contribute nearly 50 per cent. Discontinuation of LXi and LDi variants will allow Maruti to focus exclusively on production of mid-spec and top-spec models, which in turn will help reduce waiting period. This will offset any loss in revenue that may accrue due to discontinuation of base variants. Current waiting period for Ertiga is around 24 weeks, which is quite long and needs to be reduced.
Dealerships currently have unsold stock of LDi/LXi variants, which is likely to be liquidated in the near future. Maruti may be planning to offer discounts and benefits to clear existing stock of Ertiga’s LDi/LXi variants. What this also means is that the starting price of Maruti Ertiga petrol has now been bumped up from Rs 7.44 lakhs to Rs 8.16 lakhs. And in the case of diesel Ertiga, entry price has been bumped up from Rs 8.84 lakhs to Rs 9.56 lakhs. All prices are ex-sh.
With BS-VI emission norms kicking in from April 2020, Maruti is also working to replace Ertiga’s existing Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre diesel engine with a new, indigenously developed 1.5-litre diesel engine. The new engine makes 94 bhp / 225 Nm and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. It claims mileage of about 24 kmpl. Later this year, Maruti will also launch a more premium 6 seater variant of Ertiga, most likely to be called Ertiga GT. It will be retailed via Nexa.