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Maruti’s dominance in multi-purpose vehicle segment fuels SUV aspirations

Having multiple models in the SUV space is a priority for the company and it has to be done quickly, says Maruti Suzuki executive director Shashank Srivastava

April 30, 2022 / 12:25 PM IST
Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India (Left); Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki India

Hisashi Takeuchi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India (Left); Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing & Sales, Maruti Suzuki India

Automotive market leader Maruti Suzuki India has been a formidable force in the subcontinent since its cars started rolling out some four decades ago — the 800, Zen Esteem and Maruti Van became synonymous with mobility. In that time it has bolstered its positioning as a maker of affordable cars with low-cost ownership and a national distribution and service network that is without comparison.

In the last two decades, however, the markets have opened and changed with other foreign players entering. Watching the consumer evolve, new segments have sprung up and led to the appetite for new body styles such as the sports utility vehicles (SUV), multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), cross-overs and other related models.

While its success in the MPV space is self-evident, the company recognises that it has to shift gears on its mid-range SUV portfolio. Maruti Suzuki’s entry level-SUV market share is at around 20 percent (Brezza) but the S-Cross is the only model it has in the mid-range bracket, which is also a category that has tons of competition with Hyundai’s Creta, Tata Harrier, MG Hector, Kia Seltos and so on. As a matter of industry statistics, that particular segment has some 47 models and Maruti has only 2 products. Those two products throw up around 4.5 percent market share, which means they are punching above their weight; but clearly, more models are needed.

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