The Maruti XA Alpha will be competing in the sub 4-metre SUV space primarily against the Ford EcoSport and will be launched at the 2016 Auto Expo.
In a recent statement, Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava stated that the company will be launching the new XA Alpha SUV in the first quarter of 2016. First showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo as the XA Alpha concept, there are many reasons to believe that the company will be launching the model at the 2016 Auto Expo which will be held during the same period, thereby completing a full circle with the product. The XA Alpha is set to compete against the Ford EcoSport (that was also showcased as a concept at the Expo) and a range of upcoming sub 4-metre SUVs that are scheduled for launch over the next year.
A premium product for Maruti, the XA Alpha SUV concept has been much delayed over the years. Measuring under 4-metres, the SUV will be competitively priced especially with the localization advantage that Maruti has over rivals. A Front Wheel drive model, the XA Alpha will be a strict 5-seater along sporting a higher ground clearance, butch looks and frugal engine options. Details on the powertrain however are very scarce as of now. The compact SUV segment has certainly been a game changer for many automakers in the past year or two with Renault and Ford being reaping the benefits of the first mover advantage. In addition, Mahindra has planned a whole line of compact SUVs to take on different sub-segments, while Tata Motors showcased the Nexon compact SUV concept that is expected to debut in the second half of 2015.
Coming to Maruti’s plans, the company forayed into the premium segment with the Ciaz months back and has received a positive response till now. With the market slowly accepting brand Maruti into the premium space, it will be a lot easier for the automaker to bring out new products including the XA Alpha. Over the next 12 months, the Indian auto giant has planned several new products and updates on the existing range including the S-Cross Crossover and the YRA premium hatchback both of which are in the Rs. 7 lakh and above market. The company could also launch the new Vitara in the country by 2017, while a micro-SUV is also said to be under consideration.