Maruti Suzuki aims to sell three million vehicles annually and plans to have a total of around 25 models in its portfolio, nearly double of its current lineup to meet the optimistic sales target. With new products planned in the SUV and LCV segments, the automaker is eyeing to maintain its numero uno position and the new set of launches will be playing a dominant role in deciding whether the company meets the expectations.
Maruti Suzuki plans to launch the S-Cross crossover in the following months that will rival the Renault Duster in the segment. The automaker also plans to launch a compact SUV competing against the Ford EcoSport in the sub 4-metre category by 2016 as part of its strategy to gain presence in new segments. The company further confirmed that both the upcoming SUVs will be available in petrol, diesel and CNG fuel options.
Maruti has also been working on entering the commercial vehicle segment with the upcoming Y9T LCV that will compete against the Tata Ace, Mahindra Gio and Ashok Leyland Dost in the sub-1 tonne category. The new LCV will open a slew of possibilities for the automaker to command a larger market share in the growing commercial segment. The company plans to launch full scale operations for the upcoming commercial vehicles which involves separate sales and service network from its passenger segment.
Maruti Suzuki currently retails around 12-15 products in India starting from the entry-level Alto 800 going up to the Grand Vitara, its most expensive offering in the country. However, the company believes that it will not be able to achieve the magical number of 3 million units per year with the current lineup. Hence, there is a need for more products that will bring in substantial numbers. Presently, Maruti covers 79 percent of the Indian car market and launching produces in new segments will ensure a complete 100 percent market coverage in the future.
Maruti has also been working on to expand its production base in the country. With the Manesar plant expansion completed, the automaker’s total annual production stands at 1.5 million units inclusive of the other plant in Gurgaon and the upcoming facility in Gujarat. Furthermore, the automaker will be utilizing its entire production lineup by 2015-16 to meet the expected demand. Maruti is also betting big on the launch of the Ciaz sedan that is scheduled for launch next month and will be locking horns with the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the likes in the segment.
The Ciaz is the most expensive product to come from Maruti in recent times and the automaker won’t be venturing into premium segments after tasting failure with the Grand Vitara and Kizashi models. The automaker also confirmed that Suzuki is not interested in bringing its premium products to India either. Maruti also plans to launch an entry-level diesel model in the form of the Celerio that will be powered by an 800cc diesel engine under the hood. However with diesel prices rising by the day, the company is skeptical on whether the diesel model will pick up sales due to the negligible difference between petrol and diesel prices.