Maruti plans mid-market car parade, goes slow on premium
Maruti’s premium vehicles have usually proved a hard sell. Both the SX4 and Kizashi, and even the Grand Vitara SUV, have attempted to replicate Maruti’s success in the mass market, but the lack of a premium image did not help. During April-November, SX4 sales dipped 63% to 4,248 units, even as segment leader Hyundai Verna sold upwards of 40,000 units and the segment grew 8% to 1.33 lakh units. The executive sedan segment contender Kizashi sold 141 units in the period, less than half of last year.
Said chairman RC Bhargava: “We will not lose our brand image. Maruti is a first class small car maker and will look to protect that.”
There are big designs for the utility vehicle segment as well. A sub-four metre compact SUV, likely called the new ‘Jimny’ and based on the XV Alpha concept shown at the Delhi Auto Expo this year will be launched in 2014-15.
With a highly competitive pricing in the R7-9 lakh range, it will hope to replicate the success of Maruti’s Ertiga MPV.
The new Grand Vitara is expected to come close to 2016 and will be based on the Kizashi platform.
“We made our intention clear at the Auto Expo (displayed the compact SUV concept) and work is progressing rapidly on it. UV is a growing space and Ertiga was our first mark.
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