Maruti Suzuki’s first premium compact hatchback Baleno has become the second-largest selling vehicle of the company, next only to the Alto, overtaking the Dzire (compact sedan), Swift (hatchback) and the Wagon R in the first seven months of the current fiscal. This is the first time that a premium product, or an above `6-lakh car, has managed to climb up to the second position in the volumes table. In the April to October period, the volumes of Baleno increased by 64.9% y-o-y to 1,08,329 units and the average production of the car has been around 17,000 units per month. Usually, the Wagon R, Swift and the Dzire compete for the second spot since Alto has held the position of the most sold product of the company for over a decade now. After commissioning of the new manufacturing plant in Gujarat, the company has further increased the production of Baleno. Hence, the waiting period around the vehicle has also come down. During the same seven-month period, the volumes of the new Dzire increased by 10.7% y-o-y to 1,07,515 units, while the same for Swift spiked by 6.8% y-o-y to 1,01,855 units. Another popular product Wagon R, though, saw volumes decline by 1.5% y-o-y to 1,00,387 units during the same period. Maruti launched the Baleno in October 2015 as the second product to be sold from the Nexa chain of dealerships after S-Cross.
After a couple of years, not only has Baleno managed to trump its competitors, such as Hyundai Elite i20 and Honda Jazz, it is one of the largest-selling hatchbacks in the domestic market despite being priced above the regular products in the segment. As a result, the realisation per unit during the second quarter the current fiscal also improved by 3.6% y-o-y to `4,42,300. “We expect MSIL’s market share to maintain the momentum led by robust volumes of Baleno, Brezza and the new Dzire, which still continue to enjoy healthy waiting periods,” said analysts of Motilal Oswal in a research note on the company.