The Renault Kwid’s disruption of the Indian small car segment is not taken lightly by the incumbents Maruti and Hyundai. The SUV-ish hatchback’s immense success has prompted other automakers to rethink their small car product strategy.
Maruti today revealed their new generation small car at the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi. This new small car is seen as a concept as of now, but sets the tone for Maruti’s future generation of small cars. Called Maruti FutureS, it is seen with a SUVish style design and will be high on space and features.
Unveiling ConceptFutureS, Mr Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki, said, “Compact is the natural choice of India’s car customers. Compact needs a fresh design language, one that is bold, confident and dynamic. Our designers have created this brand new design, aggressive on the outside, and bold and inviting interiors. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before on a vehicle this size. ConceptFutureS will define the next generation of design for compact vehicles in India”.
Earlier last year, Maruti launched Ignis crossover hatchback in a segment above the Alto to rival the Mahindra KUV100. A similar approach for this new small car’s body style is expected. In order for Maruti to give the Kwid a run for its money, Maruti’s upcoming small car which is also touted as the next gen Alto, it will be locally engineered (to keep the development costs in check), heavily localized (to keep the production costs in check) and very light (to arrive at impressive fuel economy and performance).
Newly launched Renault Kwid has managed to eat over 20% of the market share in the segment, with monthly sales averaging to over 6,000 units. On the other hand, Maruti Alto’s sales have declined ever since the Kwid was introduced.
The new Maruti Alto will also be the most advanced ever. Apart from getting more spacious, and feature-rich, it may also get an SHVS equipped engine to lower emissions and return higher fuel efficiency. Maruti is also aiming at launching new generation WagonR and Celerio, all planned for launch in 2018/19.
Stay tuned to Rushlane as we cover 2018 Auto Expo LIVE from India Expo Mart in Greater Noida.