The YRA will be Maruti Suzuki’s first premium hatchback in the Indian market and will be positioned above the Swift in the automaker’s lineup.
While Maruti Suzuki is practically unbeatable in terms of volumes in the Indian market, the automaker had a bit of a hard luck in the premium space and is working on a reversal for the same at present. Maruti’s first attempt at making a premium hatchback codenamed ‘YRA’ (showcased as IK-2 Concept), the model will go on sale in the country later this year and will be rivaling the Hyundai Elite i20 and the new generation Honda Jazz in the market. Given the fact that other products are already proven on different grounds, Maruti isn’t being as ambitious in comparison as the automaker has a sales target which is one-fourth of the Hyundai Elite i20’s monthly sales.
The Maruti YRA will most likely be called ‘Fronx’ upon launch and is expected to be one of the most spacious offerings in its class. Engine options will include a 1.2-litre K-Series and the new turbocharged 1.0-litre BoosterJet petrol motor, while diesel power will come from the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS motor in the 90 PS guise. A 1.4-litre K14 petrol mill will also find its way to the YRA but will only be for exports. To be positioned above the Swift, the YRA will now be termed as automaker’s new premium hatchback. However, given Maruti’s extensive list of hatchbacks on sale, the company does not enjoy the same kind of breathing space between products as much as Hyundai does.
A Hyundai buyer has the option to move up from an Eon to a Grand i10 and eventually to an i20, unlike a Maruti buyer that goes from the Alto to the Celerio, Wagon R, Swift and then the YRA. Secondly, the YRA still needs to prove is mettle against established rivals. Hyundai sells around 10,000-12,000 units of the Elite i20 + i20 Active every month and it is the company’s best selling model in the portfolio. Whereas the Swift does well over 15,000 units every month and is one of the top three sellers in the country.
Hence, the Maruti YRA will have to not only compete with the Elite i20 but also with the Swift that continues to be a proven product. The advent of the premium hatchback though is likely to affect sales of the latter as Maruti loyalists looking for a premium hatchback will have a choice beyond the Swift to look up to. Maruti Suzuki has set a sales target of 80,000 units for the YRA in the first year, out of which only 40 percent will be sold in the Indian market. That gives the company a monthly sales target of around 2600 units, which appears easily achievable. The vehicle will be sold through the new NEXA premium dealerships.
Source – LiveMint.com