For over two decades, Maruti Suzuki has been supplying small and affordable cars chiefly to majority of Indian population, the working class. Alto 800 recently became second Maruti car to cross 25 lakh sales, the milestone otherwise only crossed by Maruti 800. Wagon-R is currently in fourth place of top selling cars.
About 80% of cars sold by Maruti are in sub 6 lakh price range. Maruti has identified that increasing number of returning customers are looking for a product in Swift / DZire segment and beyond like Ertiga’s. Although Maruti will continue to remain focussed in small car category, the company has decided to up the ante and explore higher level market as well, in Rs. 6 to 14 lakh space.
Maruti’s known attempts of entering big league with SX4 mid-size sedan, Kizashi premium sedan and Grand Vitara SUV, have failed to appeal to the masses. Latter two products priced between Rs. 16 and Rs. 25 lakh range were kind of neglected by the buyers. The Japanese subsidiary projects the launch of such products as an act of dipping its toe before getting wet; and that it is now ready to swim based on experience gained.
Six new products from Maruti Suzuki will be launched within next 24 months, of which four will belong to higher segments (Rs 6-14 lakhs). Include mid-size Ciaz sedan to sit on table with Honda City and Hyundai Verna, Maruti S Cross to compete with crossovers like Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano, compact SUV based on XA Alpha concept against Ford EcoSport and a premium hatchback to pit against Hyundai i20 and Honda Jazz.
Maruti Ciaz is expected to debut into market by September 2014, at price range of Rs. 7 and Rs. 11 lakhs. Maruti S Cross should come out during second quarter of 2015, at Rs. 8 – Rs. 12 lakh price bracket. Maruti XA Alpha based compact SUV is expected to launch by first half of 2016, priced between Rs. 6 and Rs. 9 lakhs. New premium hatchback from Maruti Suzuki may roll out by mid-2016, at price range of Rs. 5.5 to Rs. 8.5 lakhs.
New products are keenly targeted at existing Maruti customers looking to upgrade. Increasing success of DZire compact sedan and Ertiga MPV (which now secures double digit market share in MPV segment) are believed to be largely contributed by returning customers.
Combined with expected facelift launches of current small cars and Maruti’s aggressive dealership expansion plans, the Indian car market leader may soon reach new levels of high and become all the more unassailable by close competitors.
via Economic Times