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Maruti Suzuki Unveils Grand Vitara To Win Back Share In Red-Hot SUV Market

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. unveiled its mid-sized sport utility vehicle Grand Vitara to reclaim market share in India’s fast-growing SUV segment.

The production of new model will start in August while sales begin in September, the company said on Wednesday. While the company didn’t reveal the price, the new SUV will compete with brands including Hyundai’s Creta, Kia’s Seltos and the Tata Harrier.

“Our non-SUV market share is over 65%, but once we include market share of SUVs, then it goes below 50%,” said Shashank Srivastava, executive director, sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki. “Clearly, SUV market share is important to get to the objective of 50% market share as you probably cannot take 65% even higher.”

The market share of the company known for selling one out of every two cars in India fell to 42.75% in the year ended March 2022 from 48.71% in the previous fiscal, data from the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations showed.

Sport utility vehicles, accounting for 40% of the total passenger vehicle sales in India, grew at 45% in the last three years, Srivastava said. He expects the segment to grow at compounded annual rate of 10% in future.

The company is set to launch multiple products to capture a major part of this growing but extremely competitive segment.

“It is expected that SUV will be the largest segment this year in terms of sales volume,” Puneet Gupta, director at S&P Global told BQ Prime. “Maruti Suzuki, along with Toyota, has the capacity to gain back the market share in this segment.”

Grand Vitara is the outcome of Maruti Suzuki’s collaboration with Suzuki Motor Corp. The SUV, to be manufactured in Toyota Kirloskar’s Bengaluru facility, shares its design and features with Toyota Kirloskar’s recently unveiled Urban Cruiser Hyryder.

Gupta said Maruti Suzuki needs to have a model at every price point with a gap of Rs 25,000 to target every variant of the competition. Maruti’s aggressive stance in SUV segment may lead to discount wars next year, if not this year, with consumers emerging as the ultimate winners, he said.

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