into the hatchback segment and looking to compete with the leader directly, it makes sense for the leader to return the favour by entering into their segment to keep them engaged. This is the general strategy of competition.”
Other new models on the anvil include the S-Cross crossover that will be launched in early-2015, and a compact SUV based on the XA Alpha design showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo that will be launched in 2016. Maruti and parent Suzuki are also working on a larger MPV positioned above the Ertiga to challenge the Toyota Innova and a larger SUV based on the iV-4 concept shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year.
Maruti, which has a turnover of Rs 4s 3,600 crore and commands a 40% market share in India’s 27-lakh-unit passenger vehicle (PV) market, recently started the third production line at its Manesar plant (the sixth line including the Gurgaon plant). The company, which currently has a capacity to manufacture about 15 lakh cars a year, recently delayed the start of its new plants in Gujarat by two years to 2017. In April-December FY14, Maruti’s volumes were up just 0.3% at 8.3 lakh units, while the PV industry fell almost 6% to 18.28 lakh units on the back of sluggish consumer demand.