For the first time in seven years, Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest passenger car maker will introduce an all-new model in the small car space. The Maruti S-Presso (Codenamed YK1), production version of Future-S Concept which was showcased at the Auto Expo 2018, is all set to be launched in time to take advantage of this year’s festive season, reveals Economic Times.
The Indian auto maker has been witnessing a general slow down and Maruti, being at very top of the pile, has also been facing pressure. In fact, the company has been witnessing YoY sales decline for7 of the last 9 months. With the S-Presso small car, the company would be hoping to provide itself and the industry a much needed shot in the arm.
Not much is known about the Maruti S-Presso as of now but according to Ketan Thakkar’s report in ET, the small car will target the Renault Kwid with a sub-5 lakh price tag. Going by the Future S concept, one can expect crossover-ish styling cues. It is expected to offer dual-tone exterior colour themes to appeal to younger audience.
The interior would have fresh dashboard and the fully loaded variant would offer a touchscreen infotainment system. Features like dual front airbags, speed alert system, reverse parking sensor, front passenger seat belt reminder and ABS will be offered as standard fitment in compliance with the new safety regulations.
The car has already been spied on test, and has been reported as the next gen Alto. But it is will not be sold as new Alto, and will be sold as S-Presso. A 1.0-liter BS-VI compliant petrol engine would be propelling the Maruti S-Presso. The vehicle is reported to offer an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) option.
To be retailed through Maruti Arena outlets, the Maruti S-Presso would be the spiritual successor to the Maruti Alto. It is not clear if the S-Presso will replace the Alto, or will both cars exist alongside. Considering that Maruti has updated the current Alto with BS6 engine, and safety features, the existing Alto will continue to be sold along side the S-Press0. The new small car has been developed completely in-house by Maruti in India (no royalty to be paid to parent company Suzuki).
Although the Maruti S-Presso is touted to bring some momentum to the small car segment, it would be difficult for a lone product to turn things around so much. The entry level car segment in India has shrunk in share from 30% back in 2010 to just 12% by the end of 2018 (around 3.94 lakh units). Easier availability of financing and increased spending capacity of first time car buyers favour segments above the entry level hatchbacks.
Are you excited about a new Maruti small car?