2013 Suzuki S-Cross

Maruti Suzuki has been the undisputed leader when it comes to sales volumes in the Indian car market. It is being forced to take strategic measures to ensure it stays at the top owing to stiff competition from its rivals like Hyundai and Honda. Maruti Suzuki is planning a product offensive. The company will launch a slew of new vehicles starting from 2014 including an entry-level SUV (XA Alpha production version), a C-segment sedan (SX4 replacement) and a new hatchback (YL7 aka the A-Star and Estilo replacement) in a bid to increase its market share in India.

What is even more interesting is that Maruti Suzuki is working on a new premium hatchback. The new hatchback codenamed ‘YRA’ will be the perfect alternative to the Swift for Maruti loyalists in the premium side of the hatchback market. This model will be produced in India and Hungary to meet European market demands. This launch is slated for some time during 2015-2016. Maruti currently has a healthy 48% market share in the small car market. Competitors like Honda and Hyundai are preparing to launch new versions of the Jazz and i20 respectively by the end of next year. In the wake of the same, Maruti Suzuki is planning to counter stiff competition from nearly all its rivals with the launch of the ‘YRA’ hatchback.

The small car segment has been the highlight of focus for most mass segment carmakers with a total 54% share in the 27-lakh unit domestic passenger car industry. The Swift has been doing very well in its segment since many of the loyalists are preferring the same whilst upgrading from the Alto. The new hatchback will sport Maruti’s own diesel engine which is currently under development.

Maruti Suzuki might position the new YRA hatchback above the triumphant Swift model. The other incorporations to be expected from the company are the refurbished Swift and Ritz in 2014 and 2015 respectively (next generation Swift arrives in 2017). Maruti’s sales volume have increased by 3% to 4.86 lakh units between April-September this year. The company is making huge investments spending Rs. 2500 crores for its new R&D facility in Rohtak, Gurgaon and another Rs. 10,000 crores on a new gigantic production facility in Gujarat over the next 6 years timeframe.

Maruti Suzuki is one of the few companies that has been very successful in the creation of sub-segments. The stiff competition from rival automaker brands only compel Maruti to step up its game and ensure it maintains and improvises the number of brand loyalists it has garnered over the decades since its debut in 1984. A third production facility has commenced in the Manesar plant outside Delhi in view of the same taking its production capacity across Manesar and Gurgaon to 15 lakh units. This is enough evidence to depict the importance and seriousness of the Indian automotive market for the Japanese automaker.

Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha

Source – Financial Express